A FORMER astrophysicist who lost a leg after she was knocked over by a van is back on two feet.

Alison Broadbent suffered a catalogue of injuries when she was hit by a Vauxhall Movano while crossing Acacia Road, in Bishop Auckland, in November 2018.

She was trapped under the vehicle and had to be freed by emergency workers.

Her injuries – including multiple leg fractures, a broken pelvis and collarbone and arm, hand and leg degloving – were so bad her right leg was amputated above the knee.

The 55-year-old has now been fitted with the definitive socket for her custom-built prosthetic leg which has a computerised knee and hydraulic ankle joint allowing her to walk, stand up or sit down.

She has started dance therapy sessions to improve her balance and mobility and says she is already enjoying more independence, recently walking 1.2 miles on her prosthetic leg.

The former astrophysicist, who became a landscape gardener, said: “Particularly at first it was hard to accept and come to terms with what had happened while also seeming to have to attend endless medical appointments and assessments.

“However, in some respects I know I’m fortunate. I’m still alive and now determined to try and move on and make the most of life.

“I know life won’t quite be the same again but I don’t want to be defined by my injuries.

“I can’t thank enough everyone who has helped me over the past two years. Being fitted with my prosthetic leg means so much to me and is a major milestone for me.

“Doing things like going outside for fresh air or going to the shop will be a lot easier for me now.

“While it’s vital that everyone takes care on the roads to prevent people being seriously hurt, I also hope that others in a similar situation to me feel that they don’t have to suffer alone as there is help out there.”

Following the collision, the van driver was arrested on suspicion of causing serious injury by dangerous driving but police took no action against him.

Dr Broadbent's legal team at Irwin Mitchell reached an agreement on liability with his insurers and secured funds to adapt her home.

They continue to work with specialists including a case manager, neuro-physiotherapist, occupational therapist, psychologist and dietician to ensure Dr Broadbent has the support she needs.

Serious injury lawyer Laura Mcilduff, who represented Dr Broadbent, said: “The consequences of the collision and the devastating injuries she suffered have had a tremendous impact on Alison’s life.

“Alison’s injuries were so severe that doctors originally thought that she may not be able to use a prosthetic leg. However, despite what happened to her, Alison has always remained positive and determined to regain as much of her independence as possible.

“While nothing can make up for what has happened, we are pleased to have secured an admission on liability, allowing Alison to access the specialist support and therapies she requires.

“Alison being fitted with her definitive socket has provided her with a real boost in her regaining her independence.

“However, we hope what happened to her also acts as a warning of the consequences of the need for drivers to take care on the roads at all times.”

Road Safety Week is organised by the charity Brake and runs until November 22.