A Melksham woman who recovered from major spinal surgery to run the London Marathon last year had got on her bike for her latest long-distance challenge.

24-year-old Stephanie Jones risked paralysis when she fell from her horse in 2008, but defied her doctors to make a full recovery from major spinal reconstruction surgery.

While she still has several pieces of titanium in her back she suffers no long-lasting effects, and completed last year’s marathon in just over four hours, raising over £2,000 for fellow spinal injury patients in the process.

The former George Ward pupil, who now works in PR in London, is planning to cycle to Paris from the capital, to raise much-needed funds for the Spinal Injuries Association.

She said: “I was very lucky that no lasting damage was done during my accident and the surgery to repair my vertebrae was successful.

“Unfortunately, this is not always the case for other people who have had similar accidents and these are the people I would like to help.

“My accident has failed to stop me achieving everything in life I have wanted, including the London Marathon last year.

“I no longer run, not even for a bus but I still like to raise a lot of money to help others who need SIA's help to achieve their future goals which is why I chose a bike challenge next.”

She embarked on the 500km three-day challenge this morning, supported by Melksham firm Bearing Plus Ltd.

Company chairman Steven King said; “Stephanie deserves support for all her efforts in raising money for this worthy cause via these crazy sporting challenges.

“She has real personal experience of spinal injury and the resources needed by the charity to help people like her. Bearings Plus Ltd wish her every success on route to Paris.”

For more information about Stephanie’s challenge see www.justgiving.com/shjones208cycle