Laurie still smiling through the pain

HERE are the pictures that prove motocross crash victim Laurie Squirrell is today still smiling through the pain.The brave teenager, paralysed from the chest down during a horrific accident on her bike, revealed to The Evening Star on Monday how she has vowed to stay strong.

HERE are the pictures that prove motocross crash victim Laurie Squirrell is today still smiling through the pain.

The brave teenager, paralysed from the chest down during a horrific accident on her bike, revealed to The Evening Star on Monday how she has vowed to stay strong.

And these heart-warming photographs taken with her family at her hospital bed in Stoke Mandeville Hospital show courage shining through her pretty smile.

Laurie, from Hitcham, broke her back during a high-speed crash in America.

She was practising in San Antonio, Texas, for her first professional race.

But surrounded by mementoes from the sport she loved, and wanted to be a champion in, the 16-year-old looks relaxed and determined.

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Laurie, a Stowmarket High School student, said: "It certainly doesn't feel like Christmas at the moment but all this has made me realise the most important thing is having your family around you.

"My plans for the short term future is to be out of rehabilitation by March as my birthday's then. If I celebrate Christmas and New Year in hospital then I want to be at home for my birthday.

"In the long term, I've got lots of ideas.

"I definitely want to set up a charity to help teenagers having problems with rehabilitation after an accident.

"Because I'm young I know what a hard age it is for something like this to happen to you - just when you are getting your plans for the future together."

Laurie will spend Christmas in hospital where her father Richard, 38, mother Julie, 37, and sisters, Samantha, 18, and Kizzy, 15, will be with her.

Mr Squirrell, 38, said: "She's moved onto a rehabilitation ward now and things are better for her there. It's more geared towards her needs.

"She spent ten minutes in her wheelchair on Monday and about an hour-and-a-half today so she's perked up even more.

"She's adopted a very mature attitude since learning she won't walk again and just wants to get on with it.

"She's still smiling."

Laurie, from Hitcham, broke her back during a high-speed crash in America.

She was practising in San Antonio, Texas, for her first professional race.

People can support Laurie by sending donations to Laurie Squirrell c/o Squirrells Coaches, The Old Mill Garage, The Causeway, Hitcham, Suffolk, IP7 7NF.

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