Manchester

Rochdale viaduct plunge girl returns to school

A 14-year-old girl who survived a 31.5m (103ft) fall from a viaduct in Greater Manchester has returned to school.

Lexie Alford broke her neck, hip and ankle and suffered head injuries in the plunge at Healey Dell in Rochdale in June 2010.

But after surgery and learning to walk, talk and read again, she has gone back for the new term at Oulder Hill School.

Speaking ahead of the return, Lexie said she was looking forward to seeing her friends and form teacher.

The teenager had been playing near the viaduct with friends Lucy and Jasmine on 1 June when they decided to walk across - with Lexie falling on to an embankment.

"I remember coming down and screaming and hitting the floor. I could hear Lucy and Jasmine screaming help and that's it," she said.

The next thing she remembered was waking up in the Royal Manchester Children's Hospital, where she had been taken by helicopter.

Image caption Lexie suffered injuries to her hips, pelvis, head and back in the fall

"It's been weird having to learn to walk and read and write again.

"But since I've come home with my brother's been able to help me," she added.

Lexie spent weeks in intensive care and was placed in an induced coma in the weeks after the fall.

Her mother, Tracey Alford, said initially, the family did not know whether she was going to survive and described her recovery as "fantastic".

"Obviously the doctors and nurses at the hospital were absolutely amazing but I think on top of that, Lexie's own motivation and determination has really helped her get as far as she has done.

"She's been looking forward to it [her return] all over the holidays."

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