Alton Towers crash victim: “I once wanted to kill myself but now I’m so proud of my body, I’m baring all”
Alton Towers amputee, 21, shows world how amazing she looks and tells us: “I want to challenge what society regards as sexy”
(Photo: Andrew Wood Photography)
28 jan 2017 – Alton Towers rollercoaster crash victim Vicky Balch today poses confidently for all the world to see and says: “I want to challenge what society regards as sexy.” Our thought-provoking pictures mark a dramatic turnaround for the 21-year-old beauty who was so devastated after losing her right leg she struggled to see any future.
Speaking exclusively to the Sunday People Vicky confessed: “I’d be lying if I said I didn’t consider suicide at my lowest points. “In the beginning especially, there were days when I didn’t want to be here any more. “I’d think, ‘What’s the point? I’m not going to be able to live my life to the full or love my life ever again’.” But now Vicky feels confident enough to lay her scars bare, literally, and pose naked to inspire others and show that being different can be attractive too. She said: “It doesn’t matter what you look like, there will always be someone who finds you attractive.” Vicky was seriously injured when the Smiler rollercoaster at the Staffordshire theme park crashed into a stationary carriage in June 2015.
(Photo: Andrew Wood Photography)
Both she and another passenger, 19-year-old Leah Washington, were so badly crushed they lost a leg. Another 15 people were injured. Vicky admits she battled to accept her changed body and was so self-conscious she struggled to be intimate with boyfriends and allow them to see her naked. She said: “I have been intimate since the accident but it was difficult, especially when I wasn’t happy with my body because I’d been so body-confident before.
David Beckham with the victims and emergency services from the Alton Towers accident (Photo: Adam Sorenson)
“It wasn’t nice really because I didn’t feel sexy. I was very self-conscious and very aware. It brings the mood down and I’d prefer the lights off.” Vicky has had three short-term boyfriends since the accident, two she knew already through mutual friends and one she met on dating app Tinder, but none of them lasted more than a couple of months.
The fashion-loving former beauty student admits: “In hindsight the first relationship was definitely too soon because I wasn’t at all happy with myself. “I’ve had to learn to completely love my body all over again. I don’t think I’ll ever come to terms with what’s happened, but I love my body as it is. “I call them my battle scars and I’ve had to accept them. “I don’t care who sees them now. I’ve been through a hell of a lot and that shows it.
Vicky Balch (Photo: Sunday Mirror)
“The photographer asked me if I wanted them edited out of the pictures and I said, ‘No’. I’m not changing them. They’re part of me now.” Last year Vicky, of Grimsargh, near Preston, Lancs, took part in a tasteful photoshoot to rebuild her confidence and was met with social media bullying.
With the new photos – taken at Andrew Wood Photography, Manchester – exposing the stump and scars where her right leg was amputated, she hopes to inspire others even if she gets trolled again. Vicky said: “After the last photoshoot an 18-year-old girl with terminal cancer contacted me to say she thinks it’s amazing that I’m showing my scars off. “I don’t think what’s happened to me can even compare to her and it makes me feel great that I’ve helped someone. I expect I will get trolled again, but I won’t let it affect me.
Leah and Joe at the Christmas markets in Munich (Photo: Mirrorpix)
“I know I’m doing it for a greater good. If I can show my scars off and it helps one person then it’s worth a thousand horrible messages or tweets. I am doing it for attention, but it’s not about me.” Her mum Karen was shocked by the latest nude shots but only because she’s not used to seeing her daughter without her new £60,000 bionic leg. Vicky still keeps in touch with fellow amputee Leah Washington, from Barnsley, South Yorks, Leah’s boyfriend Joe Pugh and Vicky’s pal Daniel Thorpe, 28. And last year Vicky returned to the scene of the accident. She said: “It’s very unlikely I’ll ever go on a ride again, but I haven’t got a phobia of them.”
The crash scene of ‘The Smiler’ at Alton Towers (Photo: Newsteam)
Alton Towers was fined £5million for the accident. Vicky has no ill feelings towards the people in charge of operating the Smiler ride on the day. She says: “It must be horrible to live with it. They weren’t trained properly and that isn’t their fault.” Instead of dwelling on the accident, Vicky is looking to the future. She said: “I’d like to do TV presenting. I want to make a difference. I’m never going to be the carefree girl I once was, but I’m a lot stronger for it and I want to inspire others.” And she is still hopeful she will find love. She says: “Ideally I would prefer to meet someone the old-fashioned way in real life in a bar. “But sometimes people don’t know how to approach me. “I’m still a normal person, I’m just missing half a leg.”
– Slachtoffer van achtbaandrama (21) trekt kleren uit (Looopings.nl, 30-01-2017)
– Slachtoffer achtbaanongeluk poseert in verleidelijke lingerie (Looopings.nl, 27-07-2016)
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