A SINGLE mum disabled by a brain haemorrhage and stroke has spoken of finding a fresh purpose in life forging a new career in the modelling industry.

Deborah Greener, 48, of Peterlee, said: “In the space of 10 months I have gone from fighting for my life to representing my home county in modelling competitions and beauty pageants, while also helping to raise money for charity.

“My passion is empowerment and positive thinking. I like to think I represent hope and inspiration to others who have disabilities.

“No matter what age, stage of life or even being disabled, one can still be desirable, have dreams and achieve.”

The Northern Echo:

Ms Greener was working as a resettlement officer based at Stockton’s Holme House Prison when she suffered a brain aneurysm the age of 39. She needed emergency brain surgery which left her intensive care for three months.

She said: “I was left brain damaged and disabled and was registered visually impaired. And I lost my job as a result. My brain injuries made it difficult at interviews and I never got any work again.

“After eight years, rehabilitating and adjusting to life, a bad seizure illness landed me back in hospital again last year.

“I was critically ill with a blood infection and pneumonia and wasn’t expected to survive, ending up needing a tracheotomy.”

She added: “As a person who was always fit and healthy, ambitious and capable of so much more, and the mother of a child who was born blind, to end up disabled, visually impaired myself and becoming a guide dog user was more than I could comprehend.

“I really thought my life was over. Then I fell into modelling quite by chance.”

Wanting to give her 18-year-old son Harry a break as a model, Ms Greener sent a pictures of him to agencies. One included a selfie of her with him and she was invited for a studio photoshoot.

She said: “Doing that photoshoot and being accepted on the agency’s books gave me back a little bit of the confidence I had lost. I thought, lets see where it takes me.”

One thing led to another and in May this year the mum was a finalist in the Classic Miss British Isles Model Competition representing County Durham. This qualifies her for the Miss English Rose Elegance in October.

She has also reached the finals of Classic Miss Diamond UK 2020 and Miss Galaxy 2020 beauty pageants, for which she requires entry fees. Anyone wishing to sponsor her can contact 07885656627.