Bionic leg a boost for woman who lost limb in Alton Towers Smiler crash


A survivor of the Alton Towers Smiler crash who lost a leg in the accident last year has a new state-of-the-art bionic limb.

Vicky Balch had to have her right leg amputated after the carriage she was on smashed into another car at the Staffordshire theme park in June.

Her new prosthetic called the Genium X3, which costs £60,000, allows her to walk unaided, run and cycle - using sensors to adapt to her movements and walking style.

Appearing on ITV's Good Morning Britain on Tuesday, the 20-year-old described her new leg, made by German company Otto Bock, as "very clever".

"It is a lot more natural, I have a lot more energy. I can do a lot more things like go and see my friends - just do normal things that a normal 20-year-old would do," she said on the show.

Having her new leg fitted a few weeks ago, she admitted she has had "really bad days" during her recovery and that there were moments when she did not know if she would walk again.

In an interview with The New Day she revealed that once she knew she would be getting a new leg, one of the first things she did was sign up to dating app, Tinder.

Ms Balch matched with clinical auditor Jordan, 24 - and after a few dates, said she knew there was a "special connection" with him.

She told The New Day: "I've never felt this way about anyone.

"We hadn't been together long when we told each other we love each other.

"But Jordan is really sweet and I just feel so comfortable around him. If I'm at home, I'll just take my leg off and sit in my shorts, and he is so laid back about it."

Four other people were seriously injured in the crash, which park owner Merlin Entertainments said was due to human error.

Leah Washington, 19, from Barnsley, also had to have her leg amputated while boyfriend Joe Pugh was left with life-changing injuries when both his kneecaps were shattered.

Daniel Thorpe, 27, also suffered a collapsed lung and leg injuries; while Chanda Chauhan, 49, sustained internal injuries.

The ride began operating again in March, just nine months after the Smiler smash. Reacting to the news at the time, Ms Balch said she "never wanted it to re-open".