Brave youngster on road to recovery

A YOUNGSTER left paralysed when a concrete canopy fell on her at a friend's house is today returning back to school following several months in hospital.

By Danielle Nuttall

A YOUNGSTER left paralysed when a concrete canopy fell on her at a friend's house is todayreturning back to school following several months in hospital.

Zoe Talbot is finally home for good after receiving round-the-clock medical care to treat a broken back, leg and ribs.

The 11-year-old, a pupil at Hadleigh Primary School, was sitting on the front porch of a friend's house in September when a concrete canopy fell on her.

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The accident left her paralysed from the waist down and doctors told her she had only a 50/50 chance of ever walking again.

But the brave schoolgirl, who pushes herself through hours of physiotherapy every week, has already amazed family members and doctors alike by moving her legs and standing up with the aid of a frame.

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And today, as the youngster settles herself into school life again, she is as positive as ever.

She said: "It's great to be back home and feel normal again. I sit on the sofa and go in the car. My brother and my friend took me into town so we could get magazines and they helped me when my legs were hurting.

"I want to go back to school but I feel I haven't done enough work because I have been in hospital. But they said they would break me in gently.

"I'm really happy I'm going back to see all my friends."

Zoe, who spent many months at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital in Stanmore, Middlesex, will spend only a few hours at school today and the plan is to gradually build up until she attends as normal.

Her mother Mandy said: "She's doing really well. She's becoming more independent around the home and she's certainly trying to move her legs and feet and trying to do more.

"She's in a much better frame of mind since she's been home. She's so determined.

"We still don't know what the outcome will be and they cannot tell us yet. Zoe is determined she's going to walk one way or another.

"She's putting more weight down on her legs and they're definitely stronger."

Zoe, who has two brothers, Ryan 13, and Connor, six, experienced a major breakthrough over Christmas when she moved her legs for the first time.

The youngster could be walking using a frame in four or five months' time if her progress continues.

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