Ex-judo star trains next generation after motorbike crash
Stephanie Inglis was given just a 1% chance of surviving the horrific accident in Vietnam.
Three years ago, Stephanie Inglis was given just a 1% chance of surviving a horrific motorbike accident in Vietnam.
The silver Commonwealth judo medallist from Inverness suffered severe brain injuries when she came off a motorbike taxi travelling to her job as an English teacher in 2016.
Placed in an induced coma, the sportswoman stunned doctors with her recovery, and six weeks later returned to the UK for further treatment.
"I just remember it was crazy, I couldn't believe everything. I woke up in Edinburgh not knowing what had gone on. I had to learn how to walk again, talk again," she explains.
"I remember working with physios and one of my sessions was tackling stairs and I remember thinking 'I'm a former elite athlete, I can handle stairs' but I struggled.
"I felt very alone. I tried to remain as positive as I could but my future wasn't originally what I was planning. It was a lot of change I had to overcome."
Stephanie had taken time out of the sport after a knee injury to teach in Vietnam, but it was during this period she realised how much she loved judo.
"I still had more to give and I wanted to get back to training and see what I could achieve," she says.
'I was like 'right keep working hard, just keep doing what they are needing you to do, get better and you'll soon be back on that judo mat where you belong'.'Stephanie Inglis
Determined to return to the sport, Stephanie pushed herself to get better. But she was left devastated when doctors told her any head knock in judo could risk her life.
She said: "Before I found out from the surgeon that I wasn't allowed to do judo, I was like 'right keep working hard, just keep doing what they are needing you to do, get better and you'll soon be back on that judo mat where you belong'."
Now Stephanie has a new focus - helping to train the next judo stars in her new role as an active schools co-ordinator in Perth and Kinross.
"I run a few judo classes through the week for after school clubs and lunchtime clubs to get the kids involved and they love the judo and it's nice for me to be back doing something I've done my whole life," she says.
While Stephanie admits it has been difficult to return to a sport she loved so much, she feels lucky that she is able to inspire the next generation.
"I feel so lucky that this is my job. Doing my job is inspiring kids to lead a fit and healthy lifestyle through sport, so I'm getting them physically active and playing lots of games and getting them running around and they just love it."