A woman who was left paralysed from the waist down after a horror smash told how volunteering turned her life around.
Samantha Maguire, 34, was the passenger in a van being driven by her then-fiance when he lost control on the A835 near Inverness, Scottish Highlands, in November 2015.
The young woman, who was then 29 and working as a hotel administrator, was thrown from the van after it rolled over twice, and suffered a bleed on the brain and a devastating spinal injury.
Doctors told her she would never walk again – but Samantha told how she lives a fulfilling life despite her limited mobility.
She is no longer with her former partner, and said she gets her support from her family.
Samantha said: “Coming to terms with my injuries hasn’t been easy, but my mum has been my main rock throughout it all.
“Family means everything to me, and one of my happiest places is going to the park with my sister and nieces.
“It is lovely to see their faces and see how much they enjoy being around me.”
She enjoys taking her nieces to play centres, but can no longer go climbing or go to the gym as she used to.
Samantha instructed specialist serious injury lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to help her access vital treatment to assist with her rehabilitation so that she could get back to enjoying life.
She now lives in an adapted bungalow in Inverness, thanks to interim payments secured by her legal team.
She also has an adapted car which allows her to travel as a passenger, and has access to a specialist 24-hour support team.
And she helps others with brain injuries through working and campaigning with charity Headway, as well as volunteering with Enable Scotland, mentoring others living with disabilities.
Samantha added: “The driving force behind everything was wanting my life back.
“I really enjoy my charity work and volunteering from home makes me feel valued and like I have a purpose.
“When you go through what I have, it would be so easy to just let it defeat you, but the advice I would give to anyone who has had an accident is don’t give up.
“You can have back the life you had.”
Specialist injury lawyer David Bell said: “Samantha is such an inspirational young woman and has shown a lot of courage in getting her life back following such a serious accident.
“Through our work, we know how tough it can be for people who were once active to come to terms with severe spinal injuries, and Samantha’s determination has been incredible.
“We are proud to have helped Samantha along her road to recovery, and to know that she is helping others in similar situations is heart-warming.”