Alton Towers crash victim Vicky Balch posts first photo after leg amputation

20-year-old met Major Kate Philip who lost part of her leg in Afghanistan

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The Independent Online

A dancer who was injured in the Alton Towers crash has posted the first picture of herself after surgeons were forced to amputate her leg below the knee.

Vicky Balch, who celebrated her 20th birthday in hospital following the accident, posted the photograph with Major Kate Philip showing both of them smiling on Twitter yesterday.

Major Philip lost her leg below the knee during a tour of Afghanistan, and was the only woman to take part in a charitable trek to the South Pole alongside Prince Harry and other veterans.

“Today I was inspired by a very amazing woman,” Miss Balch wrote on the social media site. “I hope one day I can do the same for somebody else.”

The image is believed to have been taken at the Royal Stoke University Hospital, which is where Miss Balch, from Leyland, Lancashire, is recovering.

17-year-old Leah Washington had her left leg amputated after the crash

Surgeons attempted to save her right leg but following seven operations they were forced to amputate it below the knee.

The University of Derby student was the second victim to lose a limb after the Alton Towers ride The Smiler crashed into an empty carriage in front on 2 June. She and her boyfriend, 27-year-old Daniel Thorpe, were sat at the front of the ride.

Another victim, Leah Washington, 17, also had to have her leg amputated below the knee. Like Miss Balch she and her boyfriend were at the front of the ride when the accident occurred.

Yesterday, another ride malfunctioned at the popular theme park leaving 80 people stranded for hours after the Monorail unexpectedly stopped.