Fitness addict mum-of-one who almost lost her arm had defied doctors to lift weights
A stunning mum-of-one who almost lost her arm in a horror car crash, has defied doctors to become a personal trainer who can lift half her body weight.
Joan Steel’s arm was left hanging by a thread after she was involved in a serious car crash, in Cape Town, South Africa.
Talented Joan, 37, was a concert pianist on her way to a show when the tyre burst, causing the car to roll five times and trapping Joan’s arm in the process.
Joan, who now lives in North London, was told by medics at the scene that she would need her arm amputated as it was so badly damaged in the crash.
Doctors battled to save Joan’s arm and managed to reattach it by carrying out painful skin grafts and inserting a steel plate rod inside, but Joan was told she would never be able to use her arm in the same way again.
However, Joan has defied doctors and used weight training as an outlet for her frustrations and she is now working as a personal trainer.
Joan said: “I can still remember looking down and seeing my arm just hanging on by a piece of skin. It was a very traumatic time and I was distraught at the thought of losing my arm, especially as I was a concert pianist at the time.
“The tyre burst and the car just skidded and rolled over. I must have fallen out of the car and my arm was ripped off. The medics told me I would lose it but I was determined to try and keep it.”
After endless surgery, Joan’s arm was saved, but she was left with restricted movement and doctors told her she would never be able to use her arm again.
Joan said: “I was devastated and frustrated that I couldn’t bend my arm, and it seemed alien to me.”
After years of recovery, Joan and her seven-year-old daughter Leila moved to London, where she was determined to pursue a fitness career- despite her damaged arm.
Joan said: “I threw myself into fitness and weight training it was a way of me coping with what happened.
“I found a competition called Miss Galaxy Universe and it inspired me to keep going. I have entered over the past few years and I was delighted to come 5th out of 90 in the fitness round.
“I was so proud of myself because I do have restriction in my arm, and I have worked hard to get my body strong and fit again.”
Through sheer determination and careful training Joan can now bench press half her body weight- 32kg- and regularly trains with kettle bells, as well as working as a personal fitness instructor for others.
Joan said: “I want to promote the idea that strong is healthy and that a strong mind and body go hand in hand together.
Joan in actively involved in the Miss Galaxy Universe competition, which happens twice a year and regularly inspires other entrants with her personal success story.
Joan said: “My goal is to help other people. I am single mum, and I truly believe in perseverance and a positive attitude.
“I still have nerve damage in my arm, but despite doctors telling me I would never use it again, I have worked hard to become strong and use my life experiences as an inspirational tool for others.”