Nadya Vessey of Auckland, New Zealand was born with a congenital disorder that kept her legs from forming completely. She is now in her 50s, but has not had legs since they were amputated at the ages of 7 and 16. One day, a young boy approached her with questions about her prosthetic legs, and she claimed that she was a mermaid! This novel idea percolated in her mind for a while and eventually she contacted the special effects team behind The Lord of the Rings movies, asking if they could craft her a prosthetic tail. A competitive swimmer since losing her first leg, Nadya had never even dreamt of being a mermaid, but the effects gurus at Weta Workshop said they could make her a tail! Made from wetsuit fabric and plastic moulds, the appendage allows her to move through the water just as a real mermaid would. Nadya is even thinking about taking this venture a step further by competing in a triathlon someday!