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DJ slammed for playing song about legs not working as handicapped prom queen takes to dance floor

A DJ is being slammed online after they played a song about legs not working as a handicapped prom queen took to the dance floor in her wheelchair.

Sarah Mendenhall, 23 – who suffers from a rare neurological condition called Acute Flaccid Myelitis (AFM), which causes muscle weakness and sometimes paralysis – was crowned as prom queen at her school dance.

However, when it was time for Sarah – who was in a wheelchair – and the prom king to dance together, things turned awkward when the MC put on a song that had an insensitive line in it.

A video posted to TikTok by classmate Celeste Orozco showed the two standing in the center of the dance floor while someone placed crowns on their heads; but when the song Thinking Out Loud by Ed Sheeran came on, many people at the event became uncomfortable.

A DJ is being slammed online after they played a song about legs not working as a handicapped prom queen took to the dance floor in her wheelchair

Sarah Mendenhall (pictured), 23 - who suffers from a rare neurological condition called Acute Flaccid Myelitis (AFM) - was crowned as prom queen at her school dance

Sarah Mendenhall (pictured), 23 – who suffers from a rare neurological condition called Acute Flaccid Myelitis (AFM) – was crowned as prom queen at her school dance

However, when it was time for Sarah - who is seen in the hospital last year - and the prom king to dance, things turned awkward when the MC put on a song that had an insensitive line in it

However, when it was time for Sarah – who is seen in the hospital last year – and the prom king to dance, things turned awkward when the MC put on a song that had an insensitive line in it

‘When your legs don’t work like they used to before,’ the opening line of the track reads. ‘And I can’t sweep you off of your feet.’

A video posted to TikTok by classmate Celeste Orozco showed the two standing in the center of the dance floor. But when the song Thinking Out Loud by Ed Sheeran came on, many people at the event became uncomfortable

A video posted to TikTok by classmate Celeste Orozco showed the two standing in the center of the dance floor. But when the song Thinking Out Loud by Ed Sheeran came on, many people at the event became uncomfortable

Numerous onlookers in the crowd showed their discomfort by letting out gasps and yelling at the DJ, whose identity is unknown, but it seemed as though Sarah didn’t notice the line.

‘This would haunt me the rest of my life if I were the DJ,’ Celeste captioned the clip, which has been viewed more than 17 million times.

However, Sarah wants everyone to know that she wasn’t offended by the lyric in the 2014 hit.

‘Hey everyone so this is me,’ she wrote in the comment section of the viral clip. ‘I found it really funny and ironic.’

She added that she ‘didn’t know what was playing until way after’ because she was so focused on trying to ‘dance.’

Celeste added, ‘We had a great prom night and a good laugh about it the next day.’  

Despite Sarah taking it in stride, many viewers were mortified over the DJs mistake and took to the comment section to bash them. 

'When your legs don't work like they used to before,' the opening line of the track reads. 'And I can't sweep you off of your feet.' Sarah is seen in 2020

‘When your legs don’t work like they used to before,’ the opening line of the track reads. ‘And I can’t sweep you off of your feet.’ Sarah is seen in 2020

Numerous onlookers in the crowd showed their discomfort by letting out gasps and yelling at the DJ, but Sarah (pictured last year) was unbothered by it

Numerous onlookers in the crowd showed their discomfort by letting out gasps and yelling at the DJ, but Sarah (pictured last year) was unbothered by it

She said she found it 'really funny and ironic,' adding that she 'didn’t know what was playing until way after' because she was so focused on trying to 'dance.' She is seen at the prom

She said she found it 'really funny and ironic,' adding that she 'didn’t know what was playing until way after' because she was so focused on trying to 'dance.' She is seen at the prom

 She said she found it ‘really funny and ironic,’ adding that she ‘didn’t know what was playing until way after’ because she was so focused on trying to ‘dance.’ She is seen at the prom

On Instagram, Sarah (pictured in 2016) admitted that while there have been 'so many lows' since she was diagnosed five years ago, there have also been a lot of highs

On Instagram, Sarah (pictured in 2016) admitted that while there have been ‘so many lows’ since she was diagnosed five years ago, there have also been a lot of highs

Despite Sarah taking it in stride, many viewers were mortified over the DJs mistake. Others found the whole thing entertaining, with one calling it 'priceless'

Despite Sarah taking it in stride, many viewers were mortified over the DJs mistake. Others found the whole thing entertaining, with one calling it ‘priceless’

Others found the whole thing entertaining, with one calling it ‘priceless’ and another branding it as ‘the funniest thing they have ever seen.’

‘The DJ is gonna be telling this story forever,’ wrote one person, while another joked, ‘The DJ was slipped a $20 to play that by the girl who came in second place.’

What is Acute Flaccid Myelitis (AFM)?

  • AFM is a rare neurological condition which causes muscle weakness and sometimes paralysis 
  • It affects the nervous system, particularly the area of ​​the spinal cord called gray matter
  • It is often caused by a viral infection, with more than 90 per cent of patients with AFM had mild respiratory symptoms or fever, suggestive of a viral infection, before presenting with AFM
  • Symptoms include droopy eyelids, weak or sagging face, difficulty swallowing or slurred speech, and pain in the arms or legs 
  • Physical rehabilitation could improve long-term outcomes if implemented early in the disease 
  • Source: CDC 

‘That was personal,’ said someone else. A fourth comment read, ‘It’s almost too perfect.’

‘He called her OUT,’ someone else commented.

‘He said, “Hold up, I got the perfect song,”‘ wrote a different user.  

It appeared that Sarah, who was diagnosed with the autoimmune disease in October 2016, had an amazing night despite the mishap.

She posted a clip of herself spinning around in the wheelchair on the dance floor to her own TikTok account, writing, ‘Just making a core memory. Thats all.’ 

According to the CDC, AFM ‘affects the nervous system, particularly the area of ​​the spinal cord called gray matter, causing the body’s muscles and reflexes to weaken.’

It is often caused by a viral infection, with the organization writing, ‘More than 90 per cent of patients with AFM had mild respiratory symptoms or fever, suggestive of a viral infection, before presenting with AFM.’

On Instagram, the 23-year-old, who is learning to walk through physical therapy, admitted that while there have been ‘so many lows’ since she was diagnosed five years ago, there have also been a lot of highs. 

‘There have been many lows, like a lot, but there have also been so many highs that I hold onto and I wouldn’t change a thing because I’ve learned so much about myself and others that I wouldn’t have without AFM,’ she explained.

‘I can’t wait to see what the future holds for me and my little (sometimes) noodle legs.’




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