The workout that changed Marcelle Mancuso’s life forever began like any other. The 23-year-old fitness fanatic was mid-way through an ab exercise at her local gym in Brazil when the unthinkable happened.
“I went to perform the abdominal inverted sit up and was upside down,” she told SWNS. “I was attached to the equipment with a strip, which broke and the personal trainer could not hold me.”
“I hit the back of my head on the floor and immediately lost all body movements with the blow.”
The fall had caused Marcelle to break a vertebrae, effectively rendering her paralysed from the neck down. Doctors warned her she could be a tetraplegic for life and fitted a titanium, plate held by six screws into her spine.
“The doctors did not know if I would walk again or if I would stay on a bed forever,” she said.
Devastated by her diagnosis, Marcelle was determined to give her “best in physical therapy.”
“I thought if my movements did not come back it would not be my fault, it would be destiny,” she said. “I was willing to fight until the last minute.”
And that she did, until gradually, the law graduate regained feeling in fingers and toes. A month after the incident she took her first steps with a walking frame and just weeks later she was able to walk short distances on her own.”
“The doctors were surprised by my recovery,” she recalled.
“After four months, I started to improve my leg strength and five months after the accident I stopped having fainting and dizziness while walking. After six months, I managed to walk and my legs did not sway anymore.”
Two years on, Marcelle is back at the gym and is more active than ever.
“It sometimes feels like it was a nightmare I have woken up from. I learned to value the simplest things in life, such as getting out of bed and being able to brush my teeth without the help.”
“I want to help and inspire so many people who are going through difficult times. While you’re alive, you have a chance. Life can be incredible from various perspectives, I just depends on us and the love we carry in our hearts.”