Determined law student who lost a leg in horrific crash wows crowds with cheerleading routine
17:41 GMT, 16 July 2012
A cheerleader who lost a leg after a horrific road smash has defied the odds and continued to wow crowds with her dancing -despite only having one leg.
Annabelle Turner was forced to have her leg amputated below the knee after a lorry smashed into her as she cycled to a dance class last December.
But incredibly, she has made a miraculous recovery – and just seven months after the smash, she is back with her dance and cheerleading squads – performing the routines with one leg.
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Determined: Annabelle Turner defied all odds and returned to the mat to cheer again after she lost her leg
Determined Annabelle, from Bristol, has even managed to continue with her studies – and will graduate from the University of the West of England next week with a 2.1 in law.
She said: 'I didn’t want to be stuck at home thinking about the crash and I wanted to continue to be part of my dance and cheerleading squads.
'If you love something nothing will get in your way of doing it.
'I can honestly say that without my dance and cheerleading squads I would not be where I am today and I don’t think I could have got through this without the great support that they gave me.
Impressed: Her team mates and coach are incredibly proud of her and say she is still one of the fittest members of the squad
'It felt amazing that I could still dance and that I was still able to do that. I am a dancer, I always have been and I always will be and nothing can stop that.'
The determined student described the horrific smash when she was thrown from her bike into a busy main road.
Passion: Annabelle has always loved dancing and cheerleading
She said: 'I was at the traffic lights with a lorry immediately behind me and before I knew it I was sandwiched between a line of parked cars on my left and the lorry on my right.
'It was one of those “life flashing before your eyes moments” and then I was knocked from my bike by the lorry and run over.
'Once the paramedics arrived on the scene I lost consciousness and the next thing I knew I was waking up in a hospital bed to discover that my leg had been amputated.
As a dancer and cheerleader this is probably the worst thing that could happen to me.
'My tutors told me that I could defer my degree and that I could finish it during the following year. I know they had my best interest at heart but I had already completed half of the year and just wanted to get on with it.
'It was tough at first and very tiring walking on crutches and there were obviously a lot of emotions that came with this.'
When she returned to her teams in January, despite not being able to partake competitively she still attended all rehearsals and training sessions, helping to coach her cheer squad and critiquing dance routines.
Annabelle said: 'Despite the troubles of getting around on crutches I was still able to choreograph and perform a dance routine on one leg for our annual dance showcase.
'It was really important for me to still be a part of the squads and it shows just how much a sports team at university can impact on your life and help you through something so traumatic.
'Losing a leg isn’t going to stop me from doing what I love.'
Chris White, President of the UWE Cheerleading Squad, said: 'Annabelle is amazing. I saw her in hospital just a week after her accident and she was sat up in bed with her hair and make up done, she’s a performer through and through.
'That has been her positive attitude since day one. She’s attended every fitness and training class for cheerleading, helped with the coaching and is still the fittest member of the squad. She’s an inspiration to me and the rest of the squad.'
Studious: Annabelle has even managed to continue with her studies – and will graduate from university with a 2.1 in law