A young woman who is carving out a career as a model despite losing her leg in a road accident five years ago says her prosthetic leg is "beautiful".

 

Alexandra Odoevskaya, 26, lives in the Russian capital city of Moscow and models fashion ranges aimed at people with disabilities.

 

She lost her leg after she was involved in a late night car crash when a man she knew offered to give her a lift home after she had stayed out late with friends.

 

The young driver escaped almost without a scratch after he lost control of his vehicle on a wet road and crashed into a lamppost.

 

But Miss Odoevskaya had to have her leg amputated and spent four months in hospital while the rehabilitation process took her a full year.

 

However, she says that she bears no bitterness towards the driver who she said acted like a real gentleman and the two of them nearly ended up as a couple.

 

Miss Odoevskaya said: "He wanted a serious relationship… unlike me. Trying to build happiness with a drama in the background was weird, especially when we did not have big feelings beforehand."

 

Eventually, she asked him to stop coming to visit her and they drifted apart.

 

Miss Odoevskaya admits that she found it really difficult trying to get back to normal and live a normal life.

 

She added: "I kept thinking about the past and what I had planned to do with my life. I was trying to understand what to do after everything that had happened to me."

 

But the watershed moment was the first time she managed to walk unaided with her prosthetic leg.

 

"Oh, that was a fantastic feeling. Like being a child again, and you get the chance to walk for the first time outside. I was fascinated by the thought of going out on my own without anyone’s help."

 

And she said that, unlike many people with prosthetic legs, she was very clear from the start that she did not want to hide it: "I think it looks beautiful," she added.

 

As well as working as a model, she is learning how to become a TV and radio host, and already has two degrees, in costume design, and arts and crafts.

 

And she now believes that her accident has helped push her on in her life.

 

She said: "I think I would have got here but by the age of 35. I have learned to be in charge of not only myself but my family."

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Author: Zoey McDougall

Zoey McDougall