I was told I'd never walk again after going on a bouncy castle

Charlotte Grant was left unable to walk after a bouncy castle accident
-Credit: (Image: Charlotte Grant © SWNS)

A woman who was told she'd never walk again after a bouncy castle accident has defied the odds and achieved her dream.

Charlotte Grant, 24, from Kirkby, was on holiday in Dumfries, Scotland, aged 10, when she was flung off the end of a bouncy castle after someone else jumped on it. Charlotte said: "I was on a farm where they have activities and bouncy castles.

"It's literally like a kids' play area. I'd finished bouncing and was walking off the edge and somebody bounced down and I went flying off it.

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"It had concrete around it with a little something sprinkled over it. I basically landed flat on concrete.

"They took me straight to the hospital and they knew I'd broken my back. I was obviously petrified. They didn't pick up a big blood clot on my spinal cord. I got transported from Scotland to Liverpool and that's when they found it was bad."

The accident led to a blood clot on Charlotte’s spine, leaving her with no feeling in her legs. She had to miss a year of school as she to tried regain her mobility but her doctors were cautious.

Charlotte said: "I was discharged from hospital in a wheelchair and they basically said 'we don't think she'd be able to walk'. I was adamant that I wanted to walk."

Despite finding long and intense daily physiotherapy scary, Charlotte was determined. She eventually regained her ability to walk and took up acrobatics, trampolining and running.

Charlotte also wanted to do something that would give others self belief. Despite having no experience, a chance meeting enabled her to do just that.

Charlotte said: "I went into Miss Liverpool with no experience, I hadn't done any pageants before. I bumped into the organiser and she asked if I'd done pageants before.

Charlotte in her mum's recycled wedding dress
Charlotte in her mum's recycled wedding dress -Credit:Russel Diniz

"I signed up and ended up winning it. It was very much a sliding doors moment. I prefer the modern day pageants. They used to be all about outer beauty, but now it's 50% your outer self and 50% inner self.

"I was just myself. I know a lot of the girls spent a lot of money on their outfits. I had no outfits - I had to squeeze into my school prom dress.

"I was rummaging around the loft. I felt awful as these girls had made all these amazing outfits. I'm in the charity shops around Kirkby looking for something to wear for the sports round."

This prize enabled Charlotte to enter the Miss England final, which took place earlier this month. Speaking ahead of the final, Charlotte felt like she could now "achieve anything", adding: "I just want to get my message across. You don't have to be this stereotypical, blonde hair and blue eyes to win.

"It's more your inner beauty and if you have a passion about something. I have a good drive and I feel like I can achieve anything."

Charlotte found parts of her recovery 'scary'
Charlotte Grant -Credit:Russel Diniz

As part of her campaign, she undertook charity work for the Balls to Cancer organisation. This included a bingo and raffle at Northwood Community Centre, a tea and coffee morning in Portobello, Ormskirk, and a charity DJ event in the same area. Charlotte also raised £1,500 by abseiling down Anfield stadium.

These efforts saw her secure top place among fellow Miss England competitors in fundraising, with a total of £7,130 raised for Balls to Cancer. She earned a 2024 fundraiser sash for this effort at the finals last month in Wolverhampton.

Charlotte was delighted to be named first runner-up of Miss England 2024. Since the Miss England 2024 national final, Charlotte has been invited to participate in the Miss Cosmo International contest in Vietnam which takes place between September 15 and October 5.

Praising Charlotte’s work, Angie Beasley, Director of Miss England, said: "Miss England Limited is delighted to send Charlotte to this competition. This gives our first runner up a very exciting opportunity in return for all of her efforts and hard work in the competition . I wish her all the very best in the international contest in September."

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