By Martin Robinson

The young amputee who lost her leg in the Alton Towers Smiler crash in the UK has posted a series of bikini shots revealing: "I'm starting to feel confident in my own skin".

Leah Washington, 19, from Barnsley in South Yorkshire, was one of two young passengers who lost a limb after their rollercoaster carriage smashed into a stationary train at the Staffordshire theme park in June 2015, according to Daily Mail.

OCEAN CLUB 🍾 @oceanclubmarbella

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She was on a date with her boyfriend of just six weeks, 18-year-old Joe Pugh, who suffered devastating injuries himself including two shattered kneecaps.


The couple have stayed together since the trauma and have been away together in Marbella, Spain.

She said: "Going on holiday and wearing a bikini in front of so many other people was one of my biggest fears but now I'm starting to feel confident in my own skin (and bikini lol) and realise that every individual looks great in their own way".

She added: "And don't worry about what other people think, it's irrelevant".

Her words have led to others calling her an "inspiration".

MAHIKI BEACHπŸŒ΄β˜€οΈπŸΉ @mahikibeach

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Sam Coles wrote on Instagram: "You look amazing!! Enjoy the life you have been given, it makes you, you and you are tougher than the people who judge because of the struggles".

Rachel Webb posted: "You look incredible whatever anyone thinks! I think you're so amazing and an inspiration to have gone through what you have and come out the person you are!"

Sharon Irving said: "Leah. You are a beautiful girl and an inspiration to everyone. I have nothing but love and respect for you. Enjoy your holiday".

In an exclusive interview with MailOnline in June, Leah, who is facing another round of surgery in September and has been receiving interim payments to cover medical bills, says she is adjusting to her life as an amputee and trying to decide what to do with her future.


An investigation into the 2015 accident concluded that the crash was due to human error; an engineer had wrongly restarted the ride while a stationary carriage was on the track in front of it.

Alton Towers owner Merlin Attractions were fined or health and safety breaches blasted by Judge Michael Chambers QC as a "catastrophic failure".

They were fined an initial Β£5m (NZ$8.8m), and interim payments have covered Leah and Joe's medical and physio bills to date - but the pair have also submitted a "substantial"compensation claim.

A spokesperson for Alton Towers told MailOnline: "From the outset we have sought to provide assistance and support to those that were injured and their families.

"Those individuals who have not yet settled their claims have received significant interim payments. Furthermore the company has regular direct contact with those seriously injured and continues to provide help and support wherever we can."

Such a good night at @olivias_la_cala πŸ‘«πŸ₯‚πŸ’—

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Leah added: "Merlin have looked after me and my family so well. I understand that complex claims like mine take a long time. I would like to thank them for all their support over the past two years.'

Leah's Β£60,000 (NZ$106,000) prosthetic leg - which contains a microprocessor knee - will need replacing every few years, which will amount to hundreds of thousands of pounds over her lifetime.

Loss of earnings also being taken into account, with experts saying the teen can expect a payout "running into the millions" - but Leah insists she has no idea what the true figure will be.

Leah has a
Leah has a "hazy" memory of the hours following her accident - but remembers waking up from an induced coma the to discover her left leg had been amputated below the knee. Photo / Channel 5

Leah, then 17, had just finished school and passed her driving test on the day of the crash, and has a "hazy" memory of the hours following her accident - but remembers waking up from an induced coma the following day to be told that her left leg had been amputated below the knee.

"I just cried and told [the doctor] to stop talking to me," she recalled.