Brisbane artist Visaya Hoffie, 23, never could have imagined she would lose both her legs in a freak accident on the New York subway.

But if the young Australian hadn't been wearing a bright pink top at the time, she could have lost her life too.

She was visiting a friend in New York when she tripped and fell onto the tracks and was run over by a train and all seven of its carriages.

Visaya is an aspiring artist. Photo / Instagram
Visaya is an aspiring artist. Photo / Instagram

A New York Port Authority spokesman confirmed Visaya was struck about 4am on January 11 at the 14th St station and suffered head and lower body injuries.

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Her mother Pat Hoffie revealed in two emotional Facebook posts that Visaya had been saved because a second train driver spotted her hot pink shirt as she lay near-dead on the subway tracks.

"When the first train had rolled across her unconscious body 20 minutes earlier, her black puffy jacket and black jeans had made her invisible to the driver," Ms Hoffie explained.

"The bright pink colour of her top is what alerted the engine driver of the second train to the fact that someone was lying across the track."

Police said "it was a miracle she survived".

This photo was taken hours before Visaya's accident, showing the pink shirt she was wearing. Photo / Facebook
This photo was taken hours before Visaya's accident, showing the pink shirt she was wearing. Photo / Facebook

Visaya did survive, but at a cost.


"Her lower legs were amputated; she has multiple head wounds, a C2 vertebral fracture, a sheared vertebral artery, a skull depression and associated cuts and wounds," her mother said.

"She has a pseudoaneurysm in the femoral artery leading into her brain and this is being monitored by the neck brace she will have to wear for many months to come, and aspirin to avoid blood clotting.

"Miraculously, she shows no evidence of brain damage.

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"I am currently in ICU with her where she is undergoing a series of procedures and further operations."

A still from Wayan Preston's Instagram stories showing Visaya Hoffie in hospital in a neck brace and with stitches in her head. Photo / Instagram
A still from Wayan Preston's Instagram stories showing Visaya Hoffie in hospital in a neck brace and with stitches in her head. Photo / Instagram

Despite this, Ms Hoffie believes her daughter is optimistic.

"Visaya is now off breathing support, and has started to eat. She is sedated but is optimistic and has already muttered, 'I'm going to have to deal with this'," she said.

Visaya overcame her most significant surgery on Wednesday – a corrective amputation of her left leg – and yesterday posted on her Instagram account, saying: "Yes I'm becoming a TV show."

Visaya is an aspiring artist who works at the Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art.