A TEENAGER has walked down the aisle as a beaming bridesmaid, exactly two years after a crash that almost killed her.
Paige Holmes, 15, suffered devastating brain injuries when a car ploughed into her in 2009, leaving her in a coma for almost four months.
It was in the early days after the accident, that a family friend told Paige’s mum that he wanted to see her walking as a bridesmaid at his wedding.
“We just didn’t know what was going to happen at that stage” said Paige’s mum, Shirley. “She couldn’t even talk or do anything then. I told him he didn’t have to offer, but he insisted.”
That was in August 2009, and two years later, on August 16 this year, Paige, who lives with her family on Crich Common, donned a stunning purple dress, and walked - unaided - alongside the bride and groom on their big day.
“They told us she would walk down the aisle, and she did” said Shirley. “It was very emotional for us, because when the groom did his speech he mentioned Paige and how far she has come and how amazing she is.”
The teen has amazed medical staff at The Children’s Hospital in Sheffield - where she was treated for five months following the smash - with her tremendous recovery, and constant optimism.
Dr Christopher Rittey, a consultant paediatric neurologist at the hospital, said: “The thing with Paige is she always has a smile on her face.
“She’s doing remarkably well, and to be up on her feet at this stage is a huge step.”
But he stressed that while Paige is on the road to recovery, there is still a way to go, as the extent of her ability to retain information is not yet known.
“She can remember about two months before the accident, but we now need to see if she is able to learn and remember new information, for things like her exams” said dad, Alistair.
She is still undergoing a variety of therapies to help her both physically and mentally, which she has had to balance with her school work since returning full time to Anthony Gell school, Wirksworth, six months ago.
Paige, who will go into year 11 when she returns in September, said: “I am all good, but I still have to do physio, physio and more physio!”
She has also been riding horses, to help with her posture, and has embarked on a stable management course at Alfreton Parkside stables.
“When I am horse riding, looking at things like the brushes help me remember” said Paige, who uses visual stimulation to help her learn.
Now the youngster is looking forward to a new term at school with her army of close friends, who have supported her throughout her rehabilitation.