Stephanie Inglis vows to return to judo after recovery

A Scottish judo star who was given a 1 per cent chance of survival after a motorbike accident in Vietnam has vowed to return to the sport.

Judo star Stephanie Inglis is making remarking recovery from horror crash. Picture: John Devlin
Judo star Stephanie Inglis is making remarking recovery from horror crash. Picture: John Devlin

Commonwealth Games silver medallist Stephanie Inglis, from Inverness, has been in hospital since the crash in May but will now return to her Highlands home to continue her recovery and rehabilitation.

The 27-year-old arrived back in Scotland in mid-June and was treated at Edinburgh’s Western General Hospital before moving to a specialist unit in Fife.

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She has vowed to return to a normal way of life, which for her includes judo.

She said: “The goal is to obviously get back into a normal way of life and, well, judo for me was normal, I’ve been doing it since I was four.

“To not be able to do judo, that wouldn’t be my normal life, so probably after the year I’ll start looking at getting back into the sport and doing some training to get my fitness and all that back.

“But for now, because I’m going back up to Inverness, I’ll help at my dad’s judo club – help coach so at least I’m in and around it and can be involved because I do miss it.”

The Glasgow 2014 medallist suffered head injuries when her skirt caught in the wheel of a motorcycle taxi and pulled her off the bike in Vietnam. She was travelling to work teaching English in Ha Long when the crash occurred on May 12.

The accident also left Inglis with a serious head injury, infections including pneumonia and septicaemia, deep vein thrombosis and a tracheotomy which meant she was unable to talk to her family.

Doctors in Vietnam initially gave her a 1 per cent chance of survival but she has since defied the odds, emerging from a medically-induced coma and returning home.

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Father Robert put his daughter’s recovery down to her “fighting spirit” honed through years of judo practice.

“[Leaving hospital] is just the start of my journey, there’s still a long way to go,” Inglis said. “I’ll be continuing my rehab every day and doing my physio which I’ll carry on until I’m back to the way I was.

“My first memory was waking up in the Edinburgh hospital and thinking ‘what’s going on, what’s happened?’

“Luckily my mum and dad where there and explained to me that I’d been in a motorbike accident and a little of what had happened – that was probably the scariest thing hearing all this stuff that went wrong and me not having a clue it was going on.

“And the second thing was realising I had had all my hair cut off for my brain operation – that was a bit shocking.”

While the judoka does not remember the accident, she does recognise the generosity of those who raised more than £327,000 to help save her life.

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She said: “There’s such lovely people in this world. I just can’t believe so many people came together for me.”