Woman who broke back, pelvis and legs after falling 40ft walks again

A woman who survived a 40ft fall from a fourth-floor balcony has miraculously taken her first steps since the fall.

Sophie Bracken, 23, broke her back, pelvis, legs, and shattered her ankle in an eye-watering 30 places after she opened the window of a friend’s flat to get some air.

She’d been there celebrating her friend’s birthday, but the celebrations came to an end when she got too close to the edge and lost her balance in the early hours of Sunday, September 4.

When Sophie crashed to the pavement below, she landed on her back and her screams for help were heard by a passing taxi who pulled over to help.

At hospital, doctors were worried she’d never walk again due to the severity of her injuries.

But now, just 12 weeks after the accident, Sophie has taken her first steps at home in Bradford, West Yorkshire.

She said: ‘Due to the trauma and stress, I think my mind has blocked out a lot of the pain and feelings I had at the time.

‘I remember hitting the ground and feeling my back break.

‘I remember worrying more about my family and how I was going to get in touch with my mum, rather than my injuries.’

Her mother, Rachel Clapman, 60, a nurse at Bradford Royal Infirmary, needed to make a six-hour return journey via public transport before she could get to her daughter.

She couldn’t afford a hotel, so Rachel slept on hard benches, a windowsill, and plastic chairs in the hospital, so she could stay by Sophie’s side.

Sophie said: ‘The moment mum got to me, there was a sense of comfort. I had a feeling that everything will be OK, even though everything wasn’t OK.

‘Having my mum there impacted my recovery in such a positive way. I don’t think I could have got through it without having my family with me.

‘The care I received was fantastic. I was lucky to be in one of the best hospitals in the country.

‘But once you leave the nurses on the ward, you do feel on your own and that you have to put things in place yourself.’

Rachel connected with Day One Trauma Support, a charity that supports trauma victims left with serious injuries. The organisation offered her financial help which meant she could occasionally stay in a nearby hotel during Sophie’s five weeks in hospital.

Rachel said: ‘Sophie may be 23, but all I wanted was to give my baby girl a hug and tell her everything will be ok…

‘The emergency funding came at the right time. It meant I could stay in Manchester. I was able to give Sophie so much more support, knowing I only had a six-minute bus ride back to the hotel.

‘If they hadn’t have been there, it would have been a different story.

‘It would have been harder for Sophie, but 10 times harder for me. I think it would have played heavily on Sophie’s mental health and her recovery too.

‘Sophie still has a long way to go. But the support we continue to receive from Day One is making such a positive impact on her recovery.’

Kirsty Christmas, a fundraising manager with Day One, said the cost-of-living crisis has been making things ever harder for families affected by major trauma’

She said: ‘This will only get worse over the festive period. That’s why we need help so we can be there for them, from day one and for as long as it takes.

‘Surviving trauma is just the start. We believe no one should be left to rebuild their life on their own.’

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