Home sweet home for brave Laurie

HOME comforts mean more to Laurie Squirrell than perhaps they do most.The teenager knows what it is like without them, having spent months in hospital after a horrific motocross accident left her with a "one in a million" chance of walking again.

HOME comforts mean more to Laurie Squirrell than perhaps they do most.

The teenager knows what it is like without them, having spent months in hospital after a horrific motocross accident left her with a "one in a million" chance of walking again.

Today, 16-year-old Laurie is back at home after being discharged from the Stoke Mandeville Hospital in Buckinghamshire.

She has been at the hospital since breaking her back in a high-speed crash while practising in San Antonio, Texas, for her first professional race, nearly six months ago.

Laurie, a former Stowmarket High School student, has had several brief visits home since the accident to see her father Richard, 38, mother Julie, 37, sisters Samantha, 18, and Kizzy, 15, and pet Dalmation Pongo. But this time it is for good.

She said: "It's wonderful to be home.

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"Waking up in my own bed, knowing I'm home for good, feels really nice.

"I'm use to being home at weekends but there's always been the fact it wasn't forever.

"Mum was going to make me a cooked breakfast to have in bed yesterday morning but the cooker broke but things like that don't matter.

"I want to get out as much as I can this week. I'm going out with some friends tonight and just can't wait to get back to doing what I use to be able to do."

The Squirrell family home, where their family coach business is based, has been specially adapted while Laurie has been away.

A garage has been turned into a new bedroom and bathroom for Laurie and a lift has been installed.

Laurie is hoping to set up a charity helping other teenagers cope with rehabilitation after an accident but among her immediate plans is celebrating her 17th birthday on Sunday.

Mr Squirrell said: "It's hectic at home at the moment but it's great to have her home.

"It's such a relief as it's been a nightmare while we've been going back and forwarded to the hospital."

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