Thu. Jul 18th, 2024
Vanessa Rogers

An inspirational bodybuilder deemed quadriplegic after a horrific car crash has overcome her debilitating injuries to compete in contests against able-bodied women.

After her neck ‘folded like an accordion’ and severed her spinal cord, Vanessa Rogers from Edmonton in Alberta, Canada, was left paralysed from the neck down, unable to scratch her own nose and told by doctors she would never walk again.

But with the help of her walking cane, the 33-year-old now flexes her biceps and abs on stage against able-bodied women in bodybuilder competitions.

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Vanessa Rogers from Edmonton in Alberta, Canada, was deemed quadriplegic after a horrific car crash now competes in bodybuilding contests against able-bodied women with the help of a walking stick
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The 33-year-old buff beauty has competed in five competitions. She finished third in her first event, which culminated in an appearance at the 2015 Arnold Classic – bodybuilding’s equivalent to the Olympics

She said: ‘It’s nothing short of a miracle that I can walk and not use a wheelchair – because of that I live every day like it’s my last.

‘No matter what my disability restricts me to do, I find a way around that.’

Vanessa was a sporty 16-year-old who had just been named her school basketball team’s MVP when she was involved in the life-changing car accident in August 1999.
While driving home from a wedding with her sister, the car they were travelling in hit some gravel and flipped over.

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Vanessa was a sporty 16-year-old when she was involved in the life-changing car accident in August 1999. While driving home from a wedding with her sister, the car they were traveling in hit some gravel and flipped over
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Vanessa’s neck ‘folded like an accordion’ severing her spinal cord. She was left paralysed from the neck down, unable to scratch her own nose and told by doctors she would never walk again

The roof crumpled and glass from the sun roof cut into Vanessa’s head.

She added: ‘My neck just folded like an accordion – I was rushed to intensive care immediately but they had to keep me in traction for a week before they could operate.

‘After that I was sent to the trauma ward and I had to wear a neck brace.’

Despite a successful operation, every X-ray and CAT scan that doctors performed showed Vanessa had a 100 per cent chance that she would never walk again.
Even worse, their most optimistic prognosis was she only had a 50 per cent possibility of being able to feed herself.

She said: ‘When they told me I was a quadriplegic my whole world collapsed; everything was taken away from me.

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Despite a successful operation, every X-ray and CAT scan showed Vanessa had a 100% chance that she would never walk again. ‘When they told me I was a quadriplegic my whole world collapsed; everything was taken away from me,’ she said
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Incredibly, after only two-and-a-half months, her severed nerves found a new way around her vertebrae and began to reconnect. Pictured: Vanessa (second from right) competing in 2013’s Muscle Beach Fall Classic
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Despite relying on a cane to help her walk, Vanessa started bodybuilding in 2012 to shift some weight after advice from her bodybuilder mum, Delphene Balan

‘I’d gone from being this really athletic girl to having no control over my body.

‘I would wake up covered in my own waste – I needed to wear an adult diaper.

‘If I had an itch, I couldn’t scratch it myself. I was completely dependent on other people to do everything for me.’

Incredibly, after only two-and-a-half months, her severed nerves found a new way around her vertebrae and began to grow and reconnect.

When Vanessa left hospital five months later she was sat upright in a wheelchair and determined to make the most of her life.

Despite relying on a cane to help her walk, she started bodybuilding in 2012 after advice from her bodybuilder mum, Delphene Balan.

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While others might use dependency on a walking stick as an excuse to skip some exercises, Vanessa has found ways to modify her scheduleVanessa said: ‘I had started to put a bit of weight on and didn’t know how to shift it.
Vanessa works out twice a day, doing cardio in the morning and a mix of weights and cardio in the evenings Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-3330443/Bodybuilder-left-paralysed-car-crash-makes-miracle-recovery-compete-against-able-bodied-women.html#ixzz3sMTgf5FX Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook
Vanessa works out twice a day, doing cardio in the morning and a mix of weights and cardio in the evenings

‘Mum had been bodybuilding for a few years and suggested I try lifting weights.

‘After a few months, she said I had a talent for it and should think about competing – so I did.’

Vanessa now works out twice a day, doing cardio in the morning and a mixture of weights and cardio in the evenings.

While others might use dependency on a walking stick as an excuse to skip some exercises, she has found ways to modify her schedule.

Cardio can be completed on a stair stepper or elliptical and instead of weighted lunges for leg definition, she does walking lunges for 10 minutes on an inclined treadmill.

Vanessa fits the contests and her workouts around other commitments, including being a brand ambassador for RIVALUS and public speaker for Prevent Alcohol and Risk-related Trauma in Youth (P.A.R.T.Y) charity Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-3330443/Bodybuilder-left-paralysed-car-crash-makes-miracle-recovery-compete-against-able-bodied-women.html#ixzz3sMTuPRhh Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook
Vanessa fits the contests and her workouts around other commitments, including being a brand ambassador for RIVALUS and public speaker for Prevent Alcohol and Risk-related Trauma in Youth (P.A.R.T.Y) charity

She added: ‘After what I survived I want to make the most of every day.

‘I know that a disc could slip and I’m stuck as a vegetable again – because of that I make no excuses.’

In her first competition in late 2013, Vanessa finished in the top three at the Muscle Beach Fall Classic, qualifying her for national competition.

She fits the contests around other commitments, including being a brand ambassador for sports supplements suppliers RIVALUS and public speaker for Prevent Alcohol and Risk-related Trauma in Youth (P.A.R.T.Y) charity.

Despite the restraints, Vanessa still targets getting her professional bodybuilding card.

She said: ‘It’s tough when I have to compete against able-bodied girls – they don’t have issues with working their legs, balance or flexing on stage.

‘That doesn’t mean it’s impossible, it just means I have to work for longer.

‘I’m with a new coach now so I think 2016 could be epic. If anyone can help me be the best, he can.’

Courtesy of: Daily Mail