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Judo star Stephanie Inglis set to fly back home

Stephanie Inglis (SNS Group)
Stephanie Inglis (SNS Group)

SCOTTISH judo star Stephanie Inglis, who was critically injured in a motorbike crash in Vietnam, is set to return home tomorrow.

The 27-year-old Glasgow Commonwealth games silver medallist was given just 1% chance of survival after being pulled off a motorbike taxi when her skirt got caught in its wheel.

But she has stunned parents Robert, 54, and Alison, 52, with her progress and last week she woke and reached for her father’s hand.

More than 7000 people have donated just under £300,000 to a fundraising campaign set up by childhood friend and judo competitor Khalid Gehlan to help pay for Stephanie’s medical bills as her travel insurance had been deemed invalid and her hospital stay was costing £2000 a day.

Yesterday, a close family friend told the Sunday Post that Stephanie would be returning to Scotland on a flight leaving at 6pm UK time today.

Tracy Gehlan said: “Her parents are delighted but obviously extremely nervous because it is such a long journey.

“We’ve found a UK company who normally do not do these kind of flights but they came forward to offer their help a while ago and now we’ve decided to take them up on the offer.”

London-based emergency response company, Northcott Global Solutions has agreed to fly Stephanie home at a cost of more than £97,000.

The 12-and-a-half-hour flight from Bangkok is expected to land in Edinburgh at about 6.30am tomorrow, with refuelling stops in India, Georgia and Austria.

Mr and Mrs Inglis, from Inverness, have been by their daughter’s bedside since the accident.

She was travelling to work teaching English in Ha Long when the accident happened on May 12.

She was initially treated in Hanoi, where she was put in an induced coma.

Doctors in the Vietnamese capital advised her parents they should consider turning off her life support.

But she was then transferred to Bangkok, Thailand, where she has since shown remarkable signs of improvement.

On Friday, a French-run specialist medical airline was due to take Stephanie home. But hopes of a swift return were dashed because of a walk-out by Air France pilots.

Tracy, who has known Stephanie since the judo star was three, said that although she was now out of the induced coma, she still has a long way to go before her recovery is complete.

Tracy, of Alloa, said: “She is now in a semi-comatose state. That means that’s he is starting to respond and is starting to follow commands. Her parents will ask her to move her right hand and she will do that but she’s still not talking.

“Her parents told her what was happening – that she was going to be moved – and she nodded her head to say that she understood but she is still an extremely sick and weak individual.”


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