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Woman who suffered horrific injuries in car crash gears up for epic walk

PUBLISHED: 12:52 23 April 2019 | UPDATED: 13:02 23 April 2019

Lowestoft woman Zara Dyer, who suffered serious injuries in a car crash in Grand Cayman, is set to walk from John O'Groats to Lands' End. Pictures: Mick Howes

Lowestoft woman Zara Dyer, who suffered serious injuries in a car crash in Grand Cayman, is set to walk from John O'Groats to Lands' End. Pictures: Mick Howes

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A Lowestoft woman who had to re-learn to walk and talk after a devastating car crash is set to embark on the challenge of a lifetime.

Lowestoft woman Zara Dyer with her partner, Ian Brown, who will join her on the walk from John O'Groats to Lands' End. Picture: Mick HowesLowestoft woman Zara Dyer with her partner, Ian Brown, who will join her on the walk from John O'Groats to Lands' End. Picture: Mick Howes

In September 2016, Zara Dyer was working as a scuba diving instructor in the tropical paradise of Grand Cayman alongside her partner, Ian Brown.

But while driving home one day, Miss Dyer suffered a stroke at the wheel - resulting in a serious collision that left her with six bleeds on the brain, a broken neck and complete paralysis on the right hand side of her body.

With her life thankfully saved at a hospital in Miami, there began an intensive programme of treatment and rehabilitation which saw her learn to walk and talk all over again.

In light of Miss Dyer's staggering recuperation, she and Mr Brown set up a charity named 3 Million Steps to help other brain injury sufferers and their families with the recovery process.

Lowestoft woman Zara Dyer had to re-learn to walk and talk after suffering life-threatening injuries in a car crash in Grand Cayman. Picture: Nick ButcherLowestoft woman Zara Dyer had to re-learn to walk and talk after suffering life-threatening injuries in a car crash in Grand Cayman. Picture: Nick Butcher

Its first major activity will see the founders trek from John O'Groats to Lands' End from May 8, raising money for Suffolk-based brain injury specialists Livability Icanho and Lions Club International - both of whom helped Miss Dyer during the aftermath of her accident.

Miss Dyer's father and charity trustee, Peter Dyer, admits he is staggered by his daughter's unwavering commitment to achieving her goals.

“This is going to be a massive undertaking, but Zara is so determined to repay the people who assisted with her recovery,” said Mr Dyer, whose daughter now lives in Loddon. “She is just so grateful to everyone who helped her.

“She will average approximately 10 miles a day, with plenty of rest in between. I tell her how hard it's going to be, but she says 'I can do it dad - and I'm going to do it'.

Zara Dyer was left fighting for her life in a Miami hospital after suffering serious injuries in a car crash in Grand Cayman. Picture: Nick ButcherZara Dyer was left fighting for her life in a Miami hospital after suffering serious injuries in a car crash in Grand Cayman. Picture: Nick Butcher

“For people who suffer brain injuries there is actually very little help in this part of the world, and the money Zara raises will allow Icanho to purchase new equipment to continue their activities.”

Funds for 3 Million Steps will also be raised at East Coast College's Lowestoft campus on Thursday, April 25, when Ben Smith - who famously completed 401 marathons in 401 days - gives an inspirational talk about his challenge.

Tickets can be bought via the charity's website or from Dunx Cycles on Lowestoft High Street. The event will take place from 7pm to 9pm.

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