'I'm the underdog who has battled back': Model returns to work after car crash left doctors saying she might never walk again
A model who broke both her legs in a horrific car crash and was told she may never walk again, has defied doctors by putting herself back on her feet and returning to work infront of the camera.
Emily Carenza, who is also a professional horse rider, was nearly paralysed after breaking two femurs and her left hip bone in the freak road accident in November 2010.
The size 12 commercial model was just a mile from home when her car skidded on wet leaves and spun into a ditch, leaving her hanging perilously out of the side of the vehicle.
Back on her feet: Emily Carenza, 27, is also a professional horse riding instructor – but she almost had to throw both careers away when she broke her legs in a car crash
After being air-lifted to hospital the 27-year-old spent a week in intensive care where doctors told her she might never be able to walk again.
But Miss Carenza – who has posed professionally since 2009 and also works as an instructor at her family's riding centre in Stanton, Gloucestershire – says she was determined to never give up her modelling dreams.
She said: 'It's great I can consider modelling again and stand on two feet.
'After the accident the doctors looked at me in astonishment when I asked them if I would ride again. They weren't sure I would even walk.
'When someone says your injuries are life-threatening, you can't put into words how you feel, as if your dreams have been taken away from you.
'The breaks in both legs were very bad, my feet were actually pointing outwards. It was awful, I couldn't move my legs, I couldn't wash myself or take myself to the loo.
Emily, pictured in one of her modelling shots, said: 'After the accident the doctors looked at me in astonishment when I asked them if I would ride again. They weren't sure I would even walk'
'Modelling and event riding work is my life and my passion. I live for it.'
first worked in the studio in 2009, modelling wetsuits before working
for Halfords, TNT and Parcel Force through Birmingham's NumberOne
She was told she was naturally photogenic and that her face was perfect to be the face of campaigns for the firms.
But she wondered if she would ever work in the industry again, fearing a cut or bruise to her face from the crash could affect her career forever.
She also had to overcome a severe limp for several months that could have affected her stance and the work she could be offered.
Miss Carenza said: 'I was really worried I'd damaged my face at first and that I could never go back to work.
Portfolio: Emily first started posing professionally in 2009, modelling wetsuits before working for Halfords, TNT and Parcel Force
'But I was determined not to just sit on my bum and feel sorry for myself. I want to be the underdog now who has battled back.
'My physio said I put the hard work in to get back where I am now and it's paid off. Now I'm back, I really want to model more for ladies with curves, clothes for real women.
'I'm just so glad I can still do it and appreciate it every day to have been able to recover.'
Having registered with the agency at the age of 20, Emily spent three years building up her portfolio until she finally got her break aged 24.
She feared her dreams of modelling for even more high profile brands were gone, though, as she lay in her hospital bed.
After 12 weeks in a wheelchair Miss Carenza was strong enough to go home and was discharged from Cheltenham Hospital.
Pieced back together: Following Miss Caranza's car accident both of her thigh bones needed to be secured back on with metal rods and pins
Now, a year on, she has returned to modelling and is back in the saddle, even winning a dressage event on her horse Roscarno.
Praising her mum Jill, 60, who runs the riding centre, sister Kate, 39 and boyfriend Luke, 31, she feels her family's support accelerated her recovery.
She said: 'They were there for me very day for months and months when I was learning how to walk again.
'It was such a relief to be able to do what I am doing now. When you can't do something you realise how important it is to you.
'I was en route for the finals of the grass roots at Badminton before the accident. I've got to re-qualify now as I've missed a full season but I'm more determined than ever.
'I am hungrier than ever for success and the accident has made me realise what is important and what to strive for.'