Alton Towers survivor says ‘love saved me’ from ‘darkest days’ after losing leg

Alton Towers survivor says ‘love saved me’ from ‘darkest days’ after losing leg

As I walked down the aisle in my elegant dress in opposition to my rapidly-to-be husband, I felt so emotional. Making an are trying ahead to me used to be the treasure of my life, Dino Manciocchi, our seven-month-outmoded son Vinnie. With the acoustic version of Frank Sinatra’s Slip Me To The Moon having fun with, I knew I had all the pieces I had ever wished.

My dad, Brian, escorted me to Dino and we exchanged our vows, promising to treasure every other entirely and perpetually, as I cried tears of enjoyment. I couldn’t rather deem how improbable it felt to be in this 2d. After all the pieces I had been via, this used to be factual happiness.

Nonetheless it had been a strategy of more than six years of psychological and physical restoration procure to this level and the man standing next to me had considered me via some extremely refined cases and had helped to heal me. His treasure has remodeled my life.

In June 2015, my life modified perpetually after I was injured in the Smiler atomize at Alton Towers. I was in the entrance row of a car on the rollercoaster when it hit an empty carriage on the song – I was one in every of 15 of us anguish in the incident.

Alton Towers survivor Vicky Balch marries her sweetheart Dino Manciocchi at Bartles Hall, Preston.

Alton Towers survivor Vicky Balch married her sweetheart Dino Manciocchi at Bartles Hall, Preston.

I was seriously injured and as doctors battled to place my leg in the weeks following the accident, sepsis resulted in them having to amputate it via the knee. I was devastated. As an active 19-One year-outmoded doing a diploma in global spa management, I had plans to walk the sphere and in only about a seconds my whole life modified. In those early days I was utterly inconsolable.

“No one will desire me love this!” I wailed to my distraught mum, Karen. It surely felt as if my life used to be over.

I had 100 pairs of footwear at dwelling, as I loved excessive heels, and I cried thinking I’d by no formula be in a enviornment to wear heels again or surely feel feminine. Nonetheless after a huge selection of operations I had a prosthetic leg made – it used to be a pink sparkly Genium X3. Because the months handed and I slowly grew outmoded to it, I began to be triumphant in power from embracing current challenges and I got a range of toughen from my chums and family.

Vicky with Dino and Vinnie

Vicky with Dino and Vinnie

Over the following few years, I went via hundreds highs and lows – I got to stroll the catwalk at London Vogue Week and I grew to turn into fascinated by Barts Charity Trauma Charm, along with rapper Professor Green.

I suffered from depression as a outcomes of the accident, nevertheless final One year I in the spoil freed myself from taking medication and I also got my multimillion pound compensation from Merlin Entertainments, the firm that owns Alton Towers. The cash will most certainly be outmoded to fund a lifetime of remedy and replacement limbs, nevertheless to in the spoil dangle it resolved felt very releasing.

Nonetheless, it used to be falling in treasure with Dino, 27, that used to be the element that surely modified all the pieces for me. I had identified him for a whereas, as he is the brother of my handiest supreme friend Christina, nevertheless it absolutely wasn’t till 2017 that we started courting. We snappily realised that we had quite a bit in customary and we surely clicked.

Vicky before the accident

Vicky sooner than the accident

In December 2018, he proposed to me on a romantic weekend away at Mottram Hall in Cheshire. He scattered rose petals on the bed. At the time I posted on Instagram, “Can’t deem my handiest supreme friend requested me to marry him. I’m so enraged for our life together.”

I then grew to turn into pregnant with our son Venanzio – Vinnie for brief – who used to be born in March this One year. I was overjoyed at his arrival though that wasn’t with out drama. He used to be born via an emergency C-share and spent three nights in the neonatal unit.

Giving birth to our boy correct introduced all the pieces together – it used to be life-changing and it felt very finest to be a mother. We had turn into a exact family – the three of us and our canine.

The crash scene

The atomize scene

We had deliberate a huge wedding in Florence, as Dino’s family are Italian, in September 2020 nevertheless, love many other couples all around the build the sphere, we needed to waste it attributable to the pandemic. We then rearranged it for July this One year nevertheless, again, we needed to waste as Italy had now not opened up for weddings.

We made up our minds that we surely correct wished to be married – having the wedding build on withhold twice had been surely nerve-racking. So we sat down and made up our minds to invent it and we deliberate it in only a month.

We had the wedding on 23 October at Bartle Hall Resort discontinuance to our dwelling in Preston.

Crash victims meeting the rescue crew

Smash victims meeting the rescue crew

it used to be an intimate affair with 50 family and chums in a elegant barn in the grounds of the hotel at some level of the day and then about a more chums joined us in the evening. So it did develop in the pause – Dino joked that, whereas you realize me, it used to be repeatedly going to develop correct into a bigger match!

The theme used to be autumnal and the bridal birthday party stayed at the hotel the evening sooner than the wedding, drinking prosecco and getting alive to about the day ahead. Dino’s sister Christina used to be my maid of honour.


Preparing for the wedding used to be fun and, as I slipped my costume on, I grew to turn into rather overwhelmed. My mum used to be surely tearful when she seen me and so used to be my dad. I didn’t wear heels on the day – I made up my mind it used to be more jubilant to wear residences – nevertheless I felt as if I floated down the aisle in opposition to Dino and Vinnie.

Exchanging vows used to be emotional and it used to be so beautiful to dangle Vinnie with us. That 2d after we were declared husband and wife used to be surely particular.

From the despair I felt in my darkest days in correctly being center to being the happiest I’ve ever been – with out warning all of it made sense. As I mentioned those vows I knew I had my whole world correct there. I advised Dino, “I love you for who you are and the happiness that you might perhaps even dangle gotten introduced into my life. You produce me surely feel so loved every day.”

Dino advised me, “I knew from the starting up that I wished to employ my life with you.”

Vicky with her dad Brian

Vicky along with her dad Brian

We walked up the aisle floating on air to U2’s With Or Without You with our guests blowing bubbles – which used to be surely magical.

Our first dance used to be to Justin Bieber’s Somebody and as we held every other it correct felt improbable to be married in the spoil.

We are quiet going ahead next One year with a blessing in Italy, that will most certainly be more love a deliver renewal in a elegant build – it feels significant to invent that too.

We dangle our whole lives sooner than the three of us and are surely alive to about what the future holds for us. I’d give anything else to dangle my leg again, nevertheless in the spoil I produce now not regret what came about as I deem it led me to the build I am this day and I couldn’t be happier.”

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