“It was nice to get some joy out of an awful situation.”
These are the words of tattoo artist and TV host Jay Hutton, who inked a tattoo signifying “strength, unity and family” onto Alton Towers victim Vicky Balch, as part of his TV show Tattoo Fixers.
Vicky lost her left leg in the tragic rollercoaster accident on June 2nd of this year, and features in the second episode of the Channel 4 series.
The 20-year-old, who is set to trial a bionic leg in the New Year, had a family of elephants tattooed to her right leg, in what Jay described as one of the most “poignant” moments of the show.
Speaking to the Mirror Online, she described her reservations about getting the tattoo, but her joy on having it completed:
“I worried whether I could face a needle after having so many put into me in hospital. But the procedure was fine. I actually enjoyed it.
“I love tattoos and had three already, so having another was like a return to normality – something I did before the accident.
“I chose an elephant as to me they represent strength, unity and family.”
Jay told the site: “To see her reaction to the tattoo and to know she was pleased with it was really something for me.”
Balch was injured when her carriage on The Smiler collided with another carriage.
Seventeen-year-old Leah Washington also lost a leg and her boyfriend, eighteen-year-old Joe Pugh broke his knee caps.
According to the UK Independent, Joe recently returned to the theme park on the advice of his counsellor.
He said: “I’m so proud of how far we’ve both come.
“I had counselling for six weeks after the accident because I had issues with being in confined spaces and was getting anxious in crowds.”