Jockey to scale Mount Maunganui after being told she'd never walk again following horror fall

Maija Vance can reel off her injuries like most people would recite a shopping list after being told she'd never walk again after a horror fall from her horse.

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Maija Vance's horrific injury isn’t slowing her down. Source: 1 NEWS

The 28-year-old's career was put on hold after a fall riding Zedsational at the second to last fence in Rotorua in 2018. Zedsational was unharmed in the accident.

However, less than 18 months later, Vance is defying the odds. 

"I just feel so lucky," she told 1 NEWS.

"Every morning that I wake up and put my feet on the ground and stand up it just reminds me how incredibly lucky I am and there's so many people out there that aren't that lucky."

The list of injuries sustained by Vance almost beggars belief. She broke five vertebrae, crushed her spinal cord, broke her ribs in 13 places, punctured both lungs, broke her teeth and nearly bit her own tongue off.

That left Vance in a spinal unit for months, having had two steel rods and 14 screws inserted into her spine.

As a result, she's had weekly sessions to learn to walk again.

"I told them I didn't need someone to motivate. I have the motivation.

"I just need someone to tell me exactly what to do and I'll just go to the gym and do it."

If her recovery alone wasn't incredible enough, Vance will climb Mount Maunganui in on March 22, raising money for the CatWalk trust, a charity dedicated to researching spinal cord injuries.

"I have climbed the Mount before, and the closer it gets, the more nervous I get.

"I remember that it was quite difficult before, so it's definitely gonna be a challenge but I think I'll definitely get there."

Vance will need to climb 576 steps to reach the summit, ready to do whatever it takes to reach her latest challenge.

"We'll take some camping gear with us and some trail mix. Might be a couple of days but we'll get there."

Click here to donate to Maija's fundraising effort.