A TEENAGER who lost the use of her legs two years ago due to a debilitating condition – and learned to walk again – has been named as a Young Hero by police in Darlington.

Lydia Shale, 16, a former pupil of Wyvern Academy in the town, had experienced pain and hospital stays over a number of months before finding she could no longer feel or use her legs.

This resulted in her being transferred to Newcastle's Royal Victoria Infirmary where she spent two long stays so she could learn to walk again through intensive physiotherapy.

She was eventually diagnosed with Functional Neurological Disorder (FND).

FND is a life long condition that affects many people, but little is known about it.

Lydia found herself turned away from health professionals as they didn't know how to help but was eventually able to attend private specialist physiotherapy in Billingham thanks to fundraising by family and friends.

She currently sees a physiotherapist in Darlington as well as specialists in London who help her regain some movement and strength.

She took part in sports for her school, football club and town but was devastated when 18 months ago she suddenly lost the use of her arm in the middle of a PE lesson at school.

Lydia still has daily issues with her arm but she has worked hard to raise awareness and became a Mental Health Ambassador while at school.

Despite missing a lot of time there, her dedication to do well meant she was able to complete and do well in her GCSEs.

Her aunt, Kimberly Burnside, nominated her for the Young Hero award, saying: "Lydia is such an inspiration. Not a lot of adults would have been able to cope with what she has and continues to go through.

"To go through it and cope as well as she has, is just truly amazing. I cannot put into words just how proud everyone is of her and how, even when she is having such a terrible time, she still manages to put a smile on everyone else face."

The award was presented by Inspector Chris Knox, of Darlington Police, on Friday. He said she had faced her health issues with an 'amazing attitude' and said: "She has channelled her energies in helping others through being an ambassador at school assisting other with mental health issues and completing charity work.

" In my many years of police service Lydia is certainly the most deserved person to receive such an award."

Lydia, along with her family, will be invited to an annual awards celebration at Hallgarth Hotel in June 2020.