Amanda spent over five months in Stoke Mandeville Hospital before coming home to her family in Yapton. As she began her adjustment to day-to-day life again, Amanda felt that she had been given a second chance and was determined to live life as much as she could, trying many sports including kayaking, sailing, handcycling, scuba-diving, horse-riding and even a tandem sky-dive on the first anniversary of the accident. She is training to be a pilot thanks to a programme run by the charity Flying Scholarships for Disabled People, and has written a book, The Sky Is Not The Limit.
"Before my accident, I was always quite positive but I felt like I was a drifter. I had to go through this to find my purpose in life. I truly believe that if I can help one person to change their life, to make a difference to someone's self-belief, then I have achieved my aim.
I speak to school groups - I want to give children the self-belief they need to conquer whatever challenges they might face. Nothing should be an impossibility to them. And I also go to Ford Open Prison to speak to the prisoners there. Like me, their lives changed utterly - perhaps they made a mistake, as I did that day when I came off my bike - and we both find ourselves in situations we didn't expect. I also understand what it is like to be institutionalised - coming out of hospital after such a long time was quite hard for me. So I talk to them about what it's like to make a new start, about how to cope with other people judging you. I believe that we all deserve a second chance.
I have helped to make the Worthing and Bognor 10K races wheelchair friendly, and I work with a number of charities and causes that are close to my heart - everything from the hydrotherapy unit which helped so much with my rehabilitation to helping with the forthcoming Chichester Walking Weekend in September.
In 2017, the television programme DIY SOS adapted my house to make it wheelchair-accessible. That made it possible for me to be a mum again - which transformed all our lives. But to see so many members of the local community working so hard to help me - many of whom came from more challenging situations than me - made me want to do something to help them in return. So I stood for election and I now represent Yapton, Ford and Climping on the Arun District Council as a Lib Dem councillor. I can be the voice for my community, and help to address the issues that we face here.
The accident has given me opportunities to help others. If I had the chance to do it all again, I'd go back down that hill. I have faced a sticky situation, lying in a thicket with eleven broken bones, and I'm ok, and I want to tell others that they can face adversity and come through it as well."