A STUDENT who was left paralysed after a horrific car crash is on a fundraising mission for a charity which helped her adjust to life in a wheelchair.
Sports-mad Sophie Carrigill, 18, was on a swimming trip in America in 2010 when the car she was in crashed into a tree.
Although she was the only person wearing a seat belt, the accident left her with severe injuries.
She spent two months in an American hospital, had her spleen and gall bladder removed. She had also damaged her kidneys and broken her back, leaving her paralysed from the waist down.
The Wakefield Girls’ High School pupil was then treated for a further two months in Pinderfields Hospital’s spinal unit.
But now the keen netball, hockey and tennis player has turned her hand to wheelchair basketball with the help of charity Back Up.
An on Friday 70 fellow students and 20 staff from the school took part in a 24-hour gymathon to raise more than £1,700 for the charity.
Sophie of West Ardsley said: “It was a massive accident and I was so close to death.
“At first it was about surviving and fighting that battle to stay alive.
“I was really mad that it happened, but it has opened my eyes to a different life in a wheelchair.
“If it were not for Back Up I would not have got back into sport again and be happy living my life as normal as possible.”
The Back Up trust helps people affected by spinal cord injuries and took Sophie on an activity course, where she got to do a number of sports to boost her confidence.
During the 24-hour charity event teams of six people used various gym equipment at the school.
Sophie added: “I am really grateful to everyone who took part as this was really important to me.”
Sophie has also been chosen to carry the Olympic torch when it passes through Dewsbury in June, and described it as an “honour”.
And she heads to a GB camp this Easter, with hopes of being chosen to represent her country in basketball.
To sponsor her visit www.justgiving.com/wghs-gymathon.