A woman, who doctors said would be in a vegetative state for the rest of her life after a car accident when she was a toddler, has defied all odds and is getting ready to take part in a 5km charity run.
After years of hard work to learn to walk, talk, eat and even see again, Rebekah Cheshire, now 23, is taking to the track at Stanwick Lakes next month to fundraise for the type of hospital equipment that saved her life.
On December 20, 1994, Rebekah’s mother Louise Cheshire was driving her to nursery in Wisbech when her car span out of control and careered into a 10-foot ditch.
While Louise suffered a broken collar bone, two-year-old Rebekah was left with head and body injuries so severe that she died twice on the way to Peterborough District Hospital, where she was taken by emergency medical charity Magpas volunteer doctors.
They revived her with life-saving equipment but did not expect her to survive from the critical brain damage she had sustained.
Today Rebekah took part in a practise run before her event on June 14 at the Magpas Helimedix Operations Base where the met Nick Jackson, the doctor who helped her and her mother after their accident 20 years ago.
But it was actually the team who thanked her for her efforts to raise money to fund the life-saving equipment they use.
She said: “I don’t think Magpas gets enough attention and support and they need a lot of money to do what they do.”
Commenting on the challenge ahead, she said: “I feel nervous and excited about the run. I don’t know how I’m going to do it - but running or walking I’m going to make it to the end.
“The training is going fine so far and I’m ejoying it.”
Mrs Cheshire added: “It’s difficult to reconcile what you see here today, with how Rebekah was all those years ago. She was so ill and we were expecting to lose her.
“But Rebekah’s attitude and positivity is amazing, she doesn’t think Magpas gets enough attention and she is really keen to do something for the charity.”
Rebekah is encouraging as many people as possible to support her campaign, not just with donations, but by ‘running with Rebekah’ and fundraising with their own running challenges.
To sponsor her, visit www.justgiving.com/Rebekah-Cheshire.