By Brianne Moore
How’s this for a medical miracle? A 27-year-old Dutch woman named Monique van der Vorst had her paralysis reversed after she crashed into a bicycle while training for the 2012 Paralympics.
Van der Vorst had been paralyzed from the waist down since an operation went awry when she was 13 (and a later car accident resulted in spinal damage), but she wasn’t about to let that slow her down. She won the Paralympics silver medal twice for hand cycling, was named disabled Dutch athlete of the year in 2009 and won the 2009 Ironman world championship in Hawaii. The unstoppable young woman was shooting for another medal in the upcoming London games when she had her accident.
After her crash, she was rushed to the hospital, where she began to feel pain in her legs and also experience spasms and movements. After months of rehab, van der Vorst was once again able to walk.
Doctors are apparently baffled by this miraculous recovery, but one interviewed by MSNBC admits that there’s still quite a lot about medicine and the human body’s ability to heal that we don’t know about.
The recovery has ended van der Vorst’s dreams of Paralympic glory in 2012, but she’s not about to slow down anytime soon: she’s signed on as a member of the Rabobank women’s cycling team and is and is currently aiming to participate in the 2016 Olympics in Rio.