Get Default: Valentin Dikul

This is Valentin Dikul (b. 1948), Russian circus weightlifter. When he was 14, safety equipment gave way and he fell 13 meters down on the arena, breaking his spine. Dikul was doomed for a cheerless life in a wheelchair.

Sedative drug causing no limbs at birth

In the 1950’s, there was a drug called Thalidomide. It was prescribed as sedative for pregnant women having morning nausea. In the early 1960’s it became clear that the drug causes birth defects: babies were born without fingers, toes and sometimes entire hands and legs.