A 23-year-old woman from Walsall has gone to extreme lengths for Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity, after cutting her long hair and raising more than £1,700 to say thank you to the physiotherapists that helped her walk again.

Pippa Taylor was just 15-years-old when she collapsed during a cross-country run, changing her life forever. After being air-lifted to the local hospital doctors confirmed that Pippa was showing symptoms of transverse myelitis, an infection causing her spinal cord to be inflamed, and that she had sustained trauma to a number of her cervical vertebrae. Olympic Archery hopeful Pippa’s dreams shattered in front of her as she was told she was paralyzed.

Pippa was soon transferred to Birmingham Children’s Hospital where she began intensive physiotherapy treatment to help her recover as best as she could. Pippa was unable to move from the neck down but she worked hard at her treatment. Even when she felt as though her life was over, the physiotherapists helped to convince Pippa that she could still lead a full life by using adaptations to participate in activities, or find new wheelchair-based activities or parasports.

After months of hard work and exercises, thanks to the dedicated team of therapists around her, Pippa slowly started to regain function in her arms, hands and then her legs until she was eventually able to walk herself out of the children’s hospital. Two years later, at age 17, Pippa decided she wanted to do something special to say thank you.

Pippa said: “There were no words to explain my gratitude to the physios, not only for helping me get so far in regaining function but for helping me maintain a positive outlook on life and I knew I wanted to do something to give back.

“I needed a challenge that I knew I would be able to complete, regardless of any physical limitations, so I decided to start growing my hair and asked for sponsorship to do so, which I could donate to the hospital. The added bonus was that by growing my hair long enough, I knew I could donate it to make wigs.”

She continued to grow her hair in the years that followed and finally, after six years in the making, she was ready to part with her long brown locks.

She says: “Being able to raise the money and give back to the hospital that gave me my life back is a small token but I am eternally grateful and I hope the funds will help make a difference for a child in a similar situation.”

Miranda Williams, Head of Public Fundraising at Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity, said: “Pippa’s story is just so inspiring and we are so pleased that all of her hard work with our brilliant staff, and her sheer determination, has led to a full recovery. Pippa raised an incredible amount for our Physio Department which will go towards helping to rehabilitate other children and giving them a chance at life.”

If you’d like to make a donation to Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity you can do so here.