Barnsley Smiler Victim 'Standing Up'

The brother of a Barnsley teenager who had her leg amputated after the Alton Towers crash says she's stood up for the first time.

17 year olod Leah Washington was one of four people seriously hurt last week when two carriages collided on the Smiler ride.

The teenager had her left leg amputated above the knee and suffered a fractured hand in the incident.

Leah's brother, Luke Washington, said she was "heavily sedated'' when he visited her in hospital shortly after the crash.

He says:
"She was in intensive care so she had machines keeping her going.

It was only the day after they took her off that and she was back to breathing on her own.

She had a rapid recovery. Each day has gone by and she has improved and improved.''

Compared to last week when I got to hospital and saw her for the first time, it's a world of difference.

It's amazing to see her. To see her from the condition she was in to now being stood up is great.''

We've all been there for Leah but she's the one who's kept us going. She's just done amazing. I don't know where she's got this strength from but it's really opened our eyes.''

Leah, her 18-year-old boyfriend Joe Pugh, 27-year-old old hotel assistant manager Daniel Thorpe from Buxton in Derbyshire, and 20-year-old Vicky Balch, from Leyland in Lancashire, have been described as the most seriously injured in the crash

University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust said Mr Pugh was treated for two broken knees and extensive hand injuries.

Ms Balch's solicitor said she suffered potentially life-changing injuries and is expected to make a ''substantial claim for damages'' to support her recovery.

The four are being treated at the Royal Stoke University Hospital and the University Hospital Coventry.

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