Highlands & Islands

Stephanie Inglis says brain injury prevents return to judo

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Media captionStephanie Inglis was given a 1% chance of survival by doctors in Vietnam where she suffered serious injuries in an accident

Commonwealth Games silver medallist Stephanie Inglis has ruled out ever returning to her sport of judo competitively.

The 28-year-old suffered a brain injury in a motorbike accident in Vietnam more than a year ago.

Vietnamese doctors gave Inglis, from Daviot, near Inverness, a 1% chance of survival.

She had hoped to compete at 2022's Commonwealth Games, but is taking her surgeon's advice that it is too risky.

Inglis, who won her silver medal in 2014, told BBC Radio Scotland's The Kaye Adams Programme the surgeon had warned that if she suffered another head injury it would likely be life-threatening.

She said it would be "just stupid" to put her life at risk by returning to compete in judo, even though it was a sport that she "loved" and been involved in since a young age.

Inglis said: "I am slowly coming to terms with that door maybe closing on my life.

Image copyright Getty
Image caption Stephanie fighting against England's Nekoda Davis at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games

"I was always hopeful of a return to the mat and competing again. But I have been told that if I had an injury to my head, I might not come through that.

"I have to take on what the professional says."

She hopes to be able to one day coach judo, but said at the moment she has "found it hard to be around the sport".

Inglis said she continues to set herself goals, including driving a car again which she said would increase her feeling of independence.

'Bottled up'

She described her recovery as "crazy" with good improvements physically, while mentally it has not been "plain sailing" and been "a struggle".

Inglis was teaching in Vietnam when she was seriously injured in the accident on 10 May last year.

She was riding a taxi motorbike when part of her skirt caught on the machine's back wheel and she was pulled to the ground.

A crowdfunding campaign raised money to cover the cost of treatment in Thailand and a flight back to Scotland. She woke up from a coma in a hospital in Edinburgh, six weeks after the accident.

A titanium cap was bolted to her skull as part of her treatment and recovery from her injuries.

Image copyright Stephanie Inglis
Image caption Stephanie Inglis in Vietnam before the accident

Inglis told the programme that after waking from the coma she had to learn again how to walk and "work hard" to build up her strength.

She said: "I am now fully mobile and able to walk up stairs and hills and I am in the gym with a personal trainer."

But she added: "Mentally it has been a struggle.

"I am having to deal with things that I bottled up and chose not to address."

Image copyright Stacey Inglis
Image caption Inglis won silver at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow

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