Beth Johnson, 21, was hoping for a long career in dance before a car accident left her fighting for her life.
Her devastated mum, Lynne, 61, from Broughton, Lincolnshire, was told that brain scans showed no sign of life and was prepared to say her final goodbyes.
But Beth defied doctors and after having the front part of her skull removed and rebuilt, she is finally on the road to recovery after two years in hospital.
The student – who has no memory of the accident – was hit by a car in September 2015 and suffered seven skull fractures, a broken eye socket and, collarbone, pelvis as well as a collapsed lung and three slipped discs in her back.
Beth has since relearnt to talk, walk, eat and despite not being able to dance on stage, she is hoping to become a dance teacher.
She is now sharing her story to help inspire others who have been affected by a brain injury.
Beth said: “I have danced from the age of three years old and was training to become a professional dancer at a dance academy before my accident.
“I suffered such a serious head injury that my brain scans showed no activity and my family were told to say their goodbyes.
“Surgeons decided to remove the front part of my skull in an attempt to relieve some of the pressure in my brain, it was my only chance of survival.
“I had my skull rebuilt from a bone match that was flown in from Australia three months later.
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“My own skull had decayed too much to reinsert. No one thought I’d ever speak again, let alone walk and be studying at college.”
Mum Lynne was inconsolable when doctors warned her about the seriousness of Beth’s condition.
She added: “We were told Beth would be severely brain damaged and to expect the worst. But as the weeks and months passed, we started to gain more hope.
“Her head was indented as part of her skull was removed but we knew it was only temporary. She opened her eyes of the first time in March 2016 while we played a song from Les Misérables.
“And from there she started speech therapy and slowly started to improve.”
Beth spent two years in hospital recovering from her ordeal but she is finally home and studying health and social care at college.
She added: “I love dancing but that wasn’t the right path for me, I’m now going to help other people with brain injuries.
“I have a dance teaching qualification too so I’ll hopefully start doing that in the near future.
“My recovery has been a very long process but I’m proud of how much I have achieved so far.”
Beth has been supported throughout her ordeal by PAUL For Brain Recovery.
Paul Spence, the founder of PAUL For Brain Recovery, said: “Beth is a very strong and inspirational young woman, and we are very proud to see her reach her full potential.”
Beth added: “My recovery is nothing short of a miracle and I’m so thankful to all the doctors and nurses that helped save my life.
“It has been a slow process but doctors believe my high fitness level from dancing is the reason why I survived.”
There has been no criminal charges against the driver but the family are seeking compensation for Beth’s life changing injuries.