Brave Laurie returns to the track

By Craig RobinsonA TEENAGE motocross rider who was told she might never walk again after a horrific racing accident has got back in the saddle.Laurie Squirrel amazed onlookers at a motocross fundraising event at West Row Stadium, Mildenhall, yesterday when she travelled round the track on a quad bike.

By Craig Robinson

A TEENAGE motocross rider who was told she might never walk again after a horrific racing accident has got back in the saddle.

Laurie Squirrell amazed onlookers at a motocross fundraising event at West Row Stadium, Mildenhall, yesterday when she travelled round the track on a quad bike.

It was the first time that the 16-year-old from Hitcham, near Stowmarket, had been to a race following the accident in America that left her paralysed from the chest down.


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Laurie was practising for her first professional competition in San Antonio, Texas, in November last year when the 125cc bike she was riding hit a wet patch on the track, throwing her 15ft into the air.

She broke three vertebrae in her back and shattered another - and doctors told Laurie that she only has a one-in-million chance of walking again.

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Her father Richard said last night of her quad bike ride: “I think she really enjoyed it. This was a big step for Laurie because it was her first meeting back and she has coped brilliantly. She's been chatting to her friends all day.

“We had arranged to have the quad bike there so that if she wanted to have a go, then she could. One of her friends was driving and I think she told them to take her round and off they went.”

Laurie's mother, Julie, added: “One minute she was talking to her friends and the next thing we know she's gone off and is halfway round the track.

“We certainly didn't expect her to do it and it was a bit of a shock, but she loved it. Everything is going well and she had a great time. It's made her realise that she still wants to stay in motocross.”

Earlier this month doctors allowed Laurie to return to the family home as part of her medical rehabilitation.

The teenager has now been given permission to leave Stoke Mandeville Hospital in Buckinghamshire on March 9.

Her family had hoped she might be able to undergo pioneering stem-cell treatment to treat her condition, but they have been told her back is too badly damaged for that.

But since the accident Laurie has regained some feeling in her back, which is positive news.

Mrs Squirrell said: “In general she is doing very well. She comes back now every weekend and is still on course for her discharge date of March 9.

“Every now and again she says that she has a numb feeling in her leg and bottom, but that comes and goes, it's not consistent. At the moment we are just concentrating on getting her home for March.”

craig.robinson@eadt.co.uk

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