THREE years ago Tayla Stone was told she had a five per cent chance of ever walking again.
Seriously injured in a South Yunderup dirt bike crash in October 2010, the teenager spent months in hospital before coming to terms with facing the rest of her life in a wheelchair.
But that was then.
In the past month Tayla’s will to prove medical professionals wrong has seen her take her first tentative steps.
It’s a Christmas miracle to her.
But it hasn’t come without a lot of hard work.
“It’s pretty exciting,” Tayla said.
“This month I’ve finally got up.
“I always hoped this would happen.”
Not wanting to be a “19-year-old with a walking frame”, Tayla is now spending her days practicing her footwork with the help of callipers and crutches.
The callipers ‘lock’ her knees in place, allowing her to use her upper legs to move.
“I will need support for the rest of my life,” she said.
“But this is literally a big step for me.”
Recalling the day her life changed forever, Tayla said the crash was a “blessing in disguise”.
“That day changed everything,” she said.
“But it helped me mature and showed me I’m a lot stronger than I thought.”
Tayla, who is an active advocate for people with disabilities, plans to study in the new year and continue her physiotherapy with a view to walking even more.
“I just need to stay active,” she said.
“Then who knows how far I’ll go.”