A mum has told of the horrific moment she lost her legs, after lying in front of a train in an attempt to take her own life.
Helen Galsworthy was just 18 years old when she walked on to the tracks close to her home in Eastleigh, Hampshire.
Suffering from depression and addicted to cocaine, she wanted to end her life.
But she moved just as the train approached - taking off both legs below the knee.
Helen was conscious for just long enough to see her detached legs lying on the track. Thankfully, a passing dog walker found her and she was rushed to hospital.
Now, seven years later, 25-year-old Helen says she can finally talk about the ordeal and coming to terms with being an amputee.
And she is moving on with her life after having a little boy, Thomas.
Helen, who now lives in Chandler's Ford, said: "When I lost my legs I thought my life was over, but now I have so much to live for. Thomas has made me realise that I’m here for a reason.”
The 25-year-old had a respectable upbringing at a private in school in Hampshire. But bullying left her self-esteem in tatters, and when she was 18 she became involved with drugs and dropped out of university – where she was studying for a degree in Media.
Hitting rock bottom, she felt that suicide was the only way out.
She said: “Strangely I felt really happy. I was more at peace than I had been for a long time. I just lay down and shut my eyes and put some music on waiting for when I got hit by the train but it didn’t go to plan.
“I moved slightly at the last minute and ended up with just my legs across the tracks. I remember thinking, ‘Oh god, I’ve really messed this up’.
“I could see a lot of blood and the end of my jeans were cut off. It was agonising. I couldn’t believe what had happened, I lay down there to die, not to end up disabled."
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After six weeks in hospital Helen was discharged, but she struggled to cope without her legs.
Helen said: “I didn’t think anyone would want me and I thought I’d never be able to achieve the things I had wanted in life like getting married and having children.
“For a long time life was unbearable until 2011 when I fell pregnant with Thomas.
“Thomas wasn’t planned and I thought I had put my body through too much to ever be able to conceive,” said Helen.
“But I had always wanted to be a mum. His dad and I split not long after he was born but he is the best thing that’s ever happened to me.”
And now Helen has started university again, studying for a degree in criminology. She's even taken part in a skydive to raise money for an amputee charity and volunteers on the psychiatric ward where she was once a patient.
She said: “Losing my legs was devastating but now I’m just happy that I survived.
“There was a time when I didn’t want to live but now I’m a mum and my life has a meaning.
“After I lost my legs I thought I’d be alone forever but now I have everything I’ve ever wanted.”
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