A brave Harrogate teenager will take to the stage in the Miss Leeds final tomorrow night, just two months after suffering severe burns in a bonfire explosion.
Nineteen-year-old Lucy Morgan spent a month in hospital after she suffered burns to 25 per cent of her body.
Now the 19-year-old is poised to overcome her physical and emotional scars, by taking part in the finals of Miss Leeds on Saturday (May 10).
“The accident happened just a week after I won my place in the event and, sitting in pain in my hospital bed with my anesthetised body covered in bandages, I thought it was an impossible dream to take part. My world had been turned upside down in an instant,” she said.
‘I did think about dropping out but I am lucky as it could have been a lot worse - I could have lost my sight.
“People believe you have to be perfect to take part. But thanks to the amazing skills of the team of doctors and nurses at the regional burns unit at Pinderfields Hospital in Wakefield who have overseen the first stages of my recovery, I am going to do it anyway.
“My legs may still be bandaged up, I will be on painkillers, and it might be hard to walk, but I want to give it my best shot - and show that there should be no barriers to being able to live the life you choose and pursuing your goals.”
As she recovers at home, she added: “I hope other burns victims who are unlucky enough to find themselves in the same situation that I did can find some inspiration from me.
“I am determined to turn a negative experience into a positive one – and regaining my confidence to take part in Miss Leeds marks an important step forward for me.”
The former Harrogate Grammar School pupil, who is now studying for a Level 3 Extended Diploma in Applied Science (Medical) at Craven College, Skipton, has the backing of her Miss Leeds sponsor, Harrogate Skills 4 Living Centre, where she works part-time as a charity fundraising coordinator.
A keen show jumper, she has previously organised a charity horse ride to raise funds for Breast Cancer Care UK and is planning to continue to raise money for good causes, including the launch of her own charity appeal.
The winner of the Miss Leeds competition has to demonstrate charity work, take part in a catwalk, do a model photoshoot, and showcase other talents. A place in the grand finals of Miss England in June beckons for the regional winner, who will be chosen by text vote.
To vote for Lucy, text MISS LEEDS23 to 64343. Texts cost £1 plus standard rate.