Herald girl Aline fights the pain to walk again after horror bike crash
THIS is Herald AM girl Aline Barros taking her first tentative steps after a road accident left her wheelchair bound for months.
The Brazilian student was knocked off her bicycle in an accident on her way to work in July 2008, suffering serious spinal injuries.
But Aline received specialised therapy in Tenerife in January and now is determined that she will walk independently again.
"I went to Spain and received treatment. It was wonderful because for one month, I was without pain," she said. "I was lying in bed and sleeping properly for the first time since the accident.
"I couldn't believe it, I did stand and there was some movement in the muscles."
Doctors are cautiously optimistic about her muscle strength.
Friends and family rallied around to raise funds so that she could travel to the centre but Aline was frustrated that she could not continue this treatment once she returned to Ireland. "I received brain stimulation treatment and I was feeling really good," she said. "But when I came back I realised that there is more pain. Now the pain is much stronger and I'm getting worse every day."
Aline's mother Sylvia travelled to Ireland from Minas Gerais in Brazil and has been helping her out as much as she can, despite suffering from arthritis herself.
But Aline has huge medical and household bills and is worried that she could lose her apartment if she cannot keep up with rental payments.
"I want to thank everyone who has helped me and I know that the recession is very bad," she said. "But this time I am really desperate because I don't know what to do when the money runs out. I have another month maximum because it is finished. I am very frightened."
Aline still attends a physiotherapist and doctor in Dublin, but she does not have access to the facilities and equipment in Tenerife.
"I'm living days of horror because I'm getting worse every day, the pain has greatly increased," she said. "I need a good neurological doctor."
The Brazilian beauty will stay in Ireland while she waits for her court case to be heard and said that her way of life in a wheelchair was better here than it would be at home.
"If I stay here, it would be best for me. I can have a good life, something that is better than in Brazil," she said.