I cracked my spine and was told I’d never walk after horror gym accident – but now I’ve reached pro-bodybuilding glory – The Sun

A FEMALE lawyer who was told she might never walk again after surviving a horrific gym accident has now become a champion bodybuilder.

Marcelle Mendes Mancuso, 30, was hanging down from a bar for an inverted sit-up when she slipped and crashed on the floor and shattered her spine.

Marcelle posing after winning a gold medal and crown in a bodybuilding championship

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Marcelle posing after winning a gold medal and crown in a bodybuilding championship
She broke her spine in a horror gym accident in 2016

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She broke her spine in a horror gym accident in 2016
X-ray images showed she had broken one vertebra and dislocated two others

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X-ray images showed she had broken one vertebra and dislocated two others

Marcelle said she could not feel anything below her neck after the horror accident that took place in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

X-ray images and reports from her doctors concluded the lawyer had broken one vertebra and dislocated two others.

She explained: “It turned out that I broke C4, dislocated C5, and C6, and had spinal compression. From this moment on I could not feel anything else below the neck.”

Marcelle had to go through surgery where the doctors implanted a titanium plate and six screws into her spine to strengthen the backbone.

While the operation was a success, doctors told Marcelle and her family that she might never walk again.

She even struggled to move her fingers – and had to learn the basic activities of life holding and picking up objects all over again.

Marcelle said: “The surgery was a success, but the doctor told my mother that it was not possible to know if I could recover and walk again.

“At this time, moving a finger was a battle for me. The doctors did not know if I would walk again.

“I had to relearn to do the basic activities of everyday life. Picking up objects, lifting, sitting, walking, every little achievement was a gold medal for me.”

But Marcelle stayed hopeful and went through months of exhausting physiotherapy to recover some movement.

She started to recover from the horrific injury as she practised her movements again before returning to a full-blown training routine with renewed determination.

Moving a finger was a battle for me.The doctors did not know if I would walk again

Marcelle Mendes Mancuso

The lawyer explained: ” I didn’t think much, I only lived one day after another. Every little advance was a miracle, and every day was an opportunity to defy expectations.

“Gradually I was recovering the movements.”

Marcelle made an astonishing recovery and soon returned to the gym to carry on with her workout routine.

However, it was not until two years ago that she started professional weightlifting after an impressed young gym user insisted she should compete in a bodybuilding championship.

She explained: “I found the idea a bit strange, but her trainer supported it and said that he would be my coach for free.

“He even offered to help look for some partners to pay for the registration. And something surprising happened, I was the Overall Winner in my very first championship.”

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“I have always been passionate about sports and being able to do bodybuilding, run, play tennis, compete, and put my body in motion is a way to celebrate the second chance I received.”

Since then the hardworking bodybuilder has won three gold medals and a crown while competing in various bodybuilding contests.

Marcelle is now preparing to take part in the upcoming Joe Weider’s Olympia Amateur Portugal.

The world-famous championship attracts bodybuilders from around the globe to showcase their physiques and compete for titles.

An excited Marcelle said: “I think the dream of every athlete, professional and amateur, is to participate in the Olympia.

“It is the largest amateur championship in the world and there is the possibility of winning a professional athlete card.

“I am immensely happy to have started my preparation for the Olympia and will do everything to achieve a great physical shape and fight for the Pro Card.”

Marcelle demonstrates the sit-up she was doing when she fell on her head leaving her temporarily paralysed

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Marcelle demonstrates the sit-up she was doing when she fell on her head leaving her temporarily paralysedCredit: SWNS:South West News Service
She went through extensive physiotherapy to regain her moves

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She went through extensive physiotherapy to regain her moves


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