Teenage motorcyclist comes home

A YOUNG moto-cross rider who has endured months of treatment in hospital since breaking her back while practising for a competition has spent a treasured weekend at home.

A YOUNG moto-cross rider who has endured months of treatment in hospital since breaking her back while practising for a competition has spent a treasured weekend at home.

Doctors allowed Laurie Squirrell, 16, to return to the family home in Hitcham on Friday as part of her continued medical rehabilitation.

The youngster has now been told she can leave Stoke Mandeville Hospital in Buckinghamshire, where she is currently being treated, permanently on March 9.

Speaking from her home, Laurie said she had spent the entire weekend in her pyjamas relaxing.


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"It's nice being at home but stressful. The whole time I've been in hospital I've been in a wheelchair so I'm used to being small but I feel little in my house, which is strange.

"Some people have come to see me, family mostly. I have just wanted to spend it at home and relax. I've been lying around in my pyjamas all weekend.

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"They have the date that I can leave hospital, which is March 9, and they said I can come home for weekends now. It depends how it goes."

Laurie was practising for her first professional race in San Antonio in Texas when the accident happened, which left her paralysed from the chest down.

She broke three vertebrae in her back and shattered another and doctors have said she has only a one in million chance of walking again.

Her family had hoped she may be able to undergo pioneering stem cell treatment to treat her condition but they have now been told her back is too badly broken for that.

However, since the accident Laurie has regained some feeling in her back, which is positive news.

"I'm still getting tingling and burning sensations in my leg," she said.

"The feeling on my back has moved down. Someone put their cold hand on my lower back and I could feel it lower than it was before.

"I can't feel it if it's a warm hand. We've just got to wait and see. There's nothing significant to make a difference at the moment. I'm definitely getting stronger and I can do a lot more.

"All I care about is getting home for March and after that I'll think about things."

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