Rider, 25, who was paralysed after she was crushed by horse recovers after getting back on the (bicycle) saddle
16:34 GMT, 4 July 2012
A woman who was left paralysed from the waist down when she was crushed by her horse has made an incredible recovery – by riding a bicycle.
Lucy Hunt, 25, snapped her spine in a horrific accident when her horse Spider rolled on top of her after she attempted a jump.
She was left with no feeling in her legs and unable to move below the waist after the accident on July 27 last year.
Back in the saddle: Lucy swapped a horse for a bicycle to strengthen her back after a riding accident. Sadly her horse Spider (pictured) had to be put down
The damage to her spine was so serious that she had to wait two days for a specialist surgeon to operate on her.
She had three large screws drilled into her pelvis after breaking her sacrum – a bone between the coccyx and spine – which also left her with nerve damage.
Walking again: Lucy thought she was permanently paralysed after she was crushed by her horse
Following the eight-hour op, Lucy spent two and a half weeks in hospital before she was allowed to return home.
Doctors warned her she might not be able to ride horses again. But she has made an incredible recovery after strengthening her back by riding a bike.
Party planner Lucy, from Stapleford, Nottinghamshire, said: 'Spider froze and decided to come back over the jump. His legs collapsed, and he fell down and rolled over on top of me.
'I was left on the floor in excruciating pain. I couldn’t feel anything from the waist down and thought I was permanently paralysed. That was why I couldn’t feel my legs.
'I was told I would walk again but that it would take a long time.
'The doctors said my horse riding days were probably over.
'They couldn’t operate for two days as it required a specialist surgeon.
'In that time I couldn’t move below my waist. It was awful, absolutely horrendous.'
After six weeks in hospital, Lucy was discharged from hospital last November.
And she stunned medics when she began cycling up to 15 miles a week with partner Kevin Burton, 24.
She said: 'I was nervous. I was a bit wobbly and my body seemed to forget what to do because I hadn’t done it for so long. I was amazed by how much my body had shut down.'
Astonishingly, Lucy is now preparing to complete a 48-mile bike ride later this month.
She added: 'I’ve always been an active person and I asked my doctors if I could get on a bike because I wasn’t allowed back on a horse.
'Kevin and I have been out riding and have been building it up.
'The past six months have been great, but it’s only been the last month that I’ve not had any pain in my back.
Lucy pictured in September 2011. he has recovered after an eight-hour operation
'I still have some nerve damage and can’t feel my toes. I’ve been told it could take up to 18 months to come back.
'Kevin and my mum and dad have been amazing. I cannot explain just how incredible they have been. Something like that does show you who your real friends are.'
Tragically, Spider had to be put down after he suffered almost identical injuries to his owner.
Lucy hopes to start riding again later this year.