Judo star Stephanie Inglis ‘astounding doctors’

Judo star Sally Conway attended the fun day. Pic: Ian Georgeson
Judo star Sally Conway attended the fun day. Pic: Ian Georgeson
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INJURED judo star Stephanie Inglis is powering back to fitness, friends said as a fundraising day was held in the Capital.

Last week the 27-year-old Commonwealth Games silver medallist took to her feet - with the help of physiotherapists - for the first time, amazing her doctors at the Western General Hospital.

Friend Tracy Gehlan said the super-fit athlete was making “astounding progress” since she suffered a horrific accident in Vietnam.

She said medical specialists had to tear up Stephanie’s treatment plans as the courageous athlete was progressing much quicker than expected.

Tracy, from Alloa, said yesterday hospital staff had been stunned by the battler.

“She’s astounding doctors,” she said. “Every time they write a plan for her, she’s ahead of it and doing really well physically.”

She added: “She’s pretty much communicating. She can stand – she did that for the first time last week.

“The aim is to get her mobile and walking around as soon as possible.”

The latest on Stephanie’s incredible progress comes as pals celebrated her courage – and return to Scotland – at a judo event in Edinburgh on Saturday.

British Olympic competitors Euan Burton, 37, and Gemma Gibbons, 29, were at the display yesterday at Heriot-Watt University.

Stephanie was put in a coma after the bike crash in Ha Long, Vietnam, in May.

She had been visiting schools where she had been working as an English teacher.

Her skirt got caught in the wheel of a motorbike taxi, dragging her along the ground and causing severe head injuries. Vietnamese doctors gave her just a 1 per cent chance of living.

But she battled to survive despite her insurance company refusing to pay out, meaning she was forced to wait more than 32 hours before medical treatment began.

Stephanie was placed in a medically-induced coma before being flown to Bangkok in Thailand.

Worried doctors treated her for infections she picked up in hospital in Vietnam, and she was well enough to be flown back to Scotland on June 16.

Professor Sir Cary Cooper, a world-leading expert in psychology and health, said Stephanie’s resilience - built up over years of tough judo training – was the key to her rapid progress.

He said: “Resilient people have a sense of purpose, are adaptable and have developed a level of self-confidence and tolerance which can help when they get injured.

“She’s obviously shown that in her sport and is likely to translate that into her recovery.”

Meanwhile, thousands of well-wishers have contacted Stephanie on social media.

Tracy said: “She’s been looking at all her messages on Facebook and has even sent messages to a few people.”

A fundraising page set up by Stephanie’s pal and Tracy’s son Khalid Gehlan raised more than £300,000. The money covered Stephanie’s medical costs after her insurance ran out.