A 20-year-old girl from Leyland in the UK was just awarded a modelling contract. This may sound like an everyday occurrence, but is actually quite unusual. The reason?
Vicky Balch is an amputee.
This past July she was injured in a roller coaster accident in Alton Towers, a theme park, waterpark, and hotel complex is Staffordshire, England.
Along with her boyfriend and two other women, she was hurt when two carriages collided.
She was in the front of a packed line of cars when it smashed into another carriage at roughly 20 mph after becoming stuck on the track. It wasn’t the first such incident at Alton Towers, as several other issues were reported just in the same month.
After seven operations, Balch, a former dancer, ended up losing her right leg just below the knee. Her boyfriend, who was sitting next to her, was treated for a collapsed lung and fractured leg. Another victim, 17-year-old Leah Washington, also had to have a leg removed.
Her modelling contract was extended by Models of Diversity, an agency that specializes in offering modeling opportunities for those who don’t fit within the rigid confines of the fashion industry’s standards.
The agency said, “After incredibly learning how to walk with her prosthetic leg, Vicky’s first job will be taking to the catwalk at an event in Shepherd’s Bush Market, west London, on October 3rd, and we’re sure she’ll absolutely nail it.”
Vicky has used the publicity surrounding the accident to spread positive messages, detailing how she’s dealing with her altered life. On her Instagram account she supported the ‘Scar Selfie’ movement, which was set up in order to help raise money for a young boy, Declan, who has dealt with health issues since birth.
Vicky took a photo of her amputated leg and wrote that she was “nervous” to reveal herself in public, but wanted to do it because it was for such a good cause.
While speaking on the BBC Victoria Derbyshire show, Vicky recalled the event, “I remember it going into my knees and it hurt. The pain was indescribable. It hurt so much, as I’m talking about it I can still feel how it did as it crashed into my legs. I couldn’t tell you how many times it impacted on it because I fainted.
“I didn’t want to look at my legs. I never thought I would be able to walk again. I didn’t think I would make it. I didn’t think I could cope with the pain for as long as I did.”
Vicky’s courage and perseverance is an inspiration to us all, and we will be looking forward to seeing her out on the catwalk.