Introducing Izzy Weall - The girl who can

Izzy WeallFourteen-year-old Izzy Weall is a remarkable girl. At the age of twelve she became a National Schools trampolining champion.

Not very many people can say they’re a champion in something and now Izzy is looking to move in to racing cars. Someone with this sort of ambition and drive would be very impressive but what I haven’t mentioned is that Izzy is a quadruple amputee. Having lost both her arms and legs to Meningitis when she was just six, what was already impressive suddenly becomes something very unique and inspirational.

It had been a normal day at school for Izzy when she was suddenly taken ill and collapsed. She was rushed to hospital where she suffered a heart attack and multiple organ failure caused by bacterial meningitis.

Doctors warned she may not survive and here began Izzy’s life of proving doubters wrong and completing incredible achievements. She somehow survived but tragically with the loss of both her arms and legs.

This wasn’t going to stop Izzy. After two months in hospital her recovery began. She initially was wheel chair bound but in 2011 she received prosthetic limbs and this is where her recovery began to come on in leaps and bounds in a totally literal sense!

Learning to walk was the first task and Izzy was on her new feet almost straightaway. As soon as she was able to walk confidently, her wheelchair was now redundant. She saw there was an after school club for trampolining which her friends were doing and thought, “why not?” With the help of her teachers she was soon doing advanced moves and by 2015 she was entered into the national championships. She went on to win her category and was crowned national trampolining disability champion.

She doesn’t just concentrate on her own endeavours either, having set up a Youtube channel to share stories of her disability to help and inspire others, she even gives make up tutorials!

She was now looking for a new challenge and this year she was contacted by Team Brit, the racing team which helps disabled people to compete. They aim to have a fully disabled team of racers competing at Le Mans. They saw Izzy’s story and invited her to a race. After some discussions, they are now looking to team up with Izzy and develop a system that will not only allow double amputees to drive a car on track, but to actually race!

A company called Vesaro have agreed to create a simulator using the controls that Izzy would use to drive. This will allow Izzy to learn how to drive and get up to speed before she actually takes to the track.

Obviously, a simulator is much cheaper to run than an actual car as well as being totally safe. This will Allow Izzy to learn at the maximum rate. If all goes to plan she will master controlling the car in the simulator before eventually taking to the track in a car fitted with the same controls.

Izzy Weall A team Brit car on track - Where Izzy hopes to be one day (Photo by Marc Waller)

 

 

 

Even if Izzy finds that this challenge is not one to suit her, the team will then be able to use it to help other drivers in the future.

Just a little over a week before this article was written, a crowd funding page was set up to help raise the money needed for the simulator. The target of £5,200 has just been reached with the help of some generous supporters, who were inspired to help by Izzy’s incredible story.

Now, once the simulator is built, Izzy will be able to virtually begin to take to the track, learning how to drive and then eventually how to race. If successful, she will be the first driver anywhere in the world to race as a quadruple amputee. Given Izzy’s incredible determination to succeed so far in her life, few would bet against her achieving this incredible ambitious goal.

We’re hoping to keep you up to date on Izzy’s amazing racing ambitions and we wish her the best of luck.

We’ll leave the final words to Izzy herself;

“You should always give something you want to do a go, you can’t just sit down and think ‘what if I can, what if I can’t?’, you have to try it out.” By Marc Waller

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