Rail crash victim's 'miracle' recovery

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A Hong Kong television journalist who was declared braindead after being critically injured in the Potter's Bar train crash has made a miraculous recovery and is finally hoping to return to work.

Two of Tanya Liu's friends died in the crash in May 2002. Ms Liu has spent the past two years in rehabilitation in a hospital in Beijing. She spent two months in a coma after the crash and was not able to stand up unaided until near the end of 2002. In the year after the crash, Ms Liu was operated on six times - twice for brain surgery.

Ms Liu's family claim that British doctors declared her braindead shortly after the crash. But the family sought a second opinion from a Beijing neurosurgeon, who flew to London and said she could recover. A month after the crash, Ms Liu's family transferred her to a hospital in the Chinese capital and in July 2002 she came out of the coma.

Seven people died when the last carriage of the train travelling from King's Cross to King's Lynn derailed at Potters Bar station.

Ms Liu's family claim that in the first few weeks after the crash, doctors at the Royal Free Hospital in north London urged them to allow her to die.

A spokesperson for the Royal Free said: "I can't comment on conversations between individuals, but some of these are not the kind of expressions doctors use in these situations. Brain injury is a highly complex area of medicine and one in which it is very difficult to predict the degree and course of any patient's recovery. Ms Liu suffered a very severe injury and we were very worried about her future prospects."