Friday, December 9, 2011

VIDEO: Paralyzed Woman Makes Miraculous Recovery After Freak Accident

Monique van der Vorst was paralyzed from the hip down at 13 when she suffered nerve damage during a routine ankle operation. Years later, she went on to win a silver medal for handcycling in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. However, that same year she was hit by a car while training in her wheelchair and endured a spinal cord injury. Last summer, as she trained for the London 2012 Paralympics in her wheelchair something happened that changed her life: She collided with a sprint cyclist. When she was recovering in the hospital, van der Vorst discovered that she could move her feet. Something had occurred during the accident that reversed her paralysis. Van der Vorst told Reuters that when she took her first steps she felt like a child learning to walk again. Doctors are still stumped by her astonishing recovery. Some theorize that the trauma of her last accident might have jolted her body back into activity. Van der Vorst, now 27, went through an intense rehabilitation and eventually began training on a racing bicycle. Because she is no longer disabled, she is ineligible to compete in the Paralympics. Instead, van der Vorst is now in training to compete in the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. People on Twitter are astounded by her story. One person said, "Wow this story is incredible," and another person called it "amazing." Given that van der Vorst has already won two Paralympics silver medals and the 2009 Iron Man in Hawaii, I think we might be seeing her in Rio in 2016.

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