Brave mum paralysed when ex threw 35kg concrete slab at her beats odds and walks again
A woman who was paralysed by her vengeful ex-boyfriend in a vicious attack has beaten the odds to walk again.
Josey Trupp, now 28, was just 16 when her then-boyfriend Brandon Moore turned up on her doorstep and threw a 35kg concrete slab on her back, breaking her neck.
After the violent outburst, jealous Moore took his own life.
In addition to a broken neck, Josey also had a shattered jaw and cheekbones. Doctors told her she'd be in a wheelchair for life.
However, the determined mum-of-three went on to make a miraculous recovery and learned how to walk again.
Josey has also found love and says her three children helped her find "a new purpose" in life as a mother.
She said: "I met my ex at school and we were together on and off for two years from 14 to 16 years old. We were each other's first relationships.
For more of the news you care about straight to your inbox, sign up for one of our daily newsletters here
"He was very controlling and would black out in a rage and hit me in the face and supposedly not remember it when he calmed down and be upset that he hurt me.
"He broke up with me a few days before the incident because he 'didn't want to hurt me any more'.
"But then he turned up at my house one day and found me with a guy friend and thought I was with him, so he told me to come outside or he'd carry me out."
Josey says she tried to run away, but Moore started hitting her until she blacked out.
"When I next woke up I was face down on the floor with a concrete slab on my back which he had dropped on me and broke my neck.
"I saw that there was a little pool of blood next to my head and thought I was going to die."
Moore, who was 17 at the time, had exploded with jealousy when he saw Josey moving on with her life.
The slab he used to paralyse her had been covering an opening down to the cellar of the house.
After committing the horrific attack, Moore left his ex-girlfriend for dead and killed himself.
Looking back, Josey recalls Moore once telling her: "If I can't have you then no one can."
But she added: "I didn't think he would do anything that drastic."
Josey said a male friend had driven her home on the night of the attack, and they had both fallen asleep on the sofa while watching TV.
When Moore arrived two hours later, he walked straight into the house because the front door had been left unlocked.
Josey said: "During the attack I was terrified but strangely calm because I thought he would stop and go home, I never thought it would go that far.
"At one point I grabbed his face and said 'baby please stop' but he just stared back at me with a blank expression like he wasn't even there."
When Moore finally left, Josey's friend who had been asleep on the sofa came outside to find her bleeding on the ground and called for help.
Josey's mum, Rhonda, 53, arrived just in time to see paramedics take her bloodied daughter to hospital.
After having scans, their worst fears were confirmed - Josey had numerous fractures in her neck vertebrae and was paralysed.
Josey recalled waking up in hospital the next day.
"I said to my mom 'I don't want him to hurt me again' and she told me he was dead, which was a relief but also made me sad," she said.
"The doctors told me I was paralysed from the neck down, would never walk again."
She was given a neck brace for two and a half months and also had surgery to put a metal plate in her jaw.
Despite intense rehab for a year after the attack, she only regained limited use of her right hand, and wasn't able to use her left hand at all.
However, during her two-month spell in hospital, Josey managed to take supported steps - and from there, her progress continued to excel until she was walking again six months later.
Now with her partner Zack Lazarus, 27, and with three kids, Jediah, seven, Jolena, four, and Journey, two, Josey says she feels "incredibly lucky."
She said: "Meeting Zack has definitely helped me overcome my trauma and now I feel like I have someone to lean on.
"My children have given me purpose in life again and it feels good to be so independent taking care of them myself, especially after doctors told me I'd be paralysed for life."
Now, Josey uses her social media profiles to raise awareness about abusive relationships and disabilities. She hopes to become a counsellor one day, so she can help women recover from trauma.
Josey said: "I'm definitely a stronger person because of what I went through and I feel like it's given me another purpose in life - to help other people.
"It feels good when people come to me for advice about relationships and disabilities, it's my goal to help people."
Got a story? Email firstname.lastname@example.org