By Mollie Mansfield
A stunning student whose legs were ripped off by a train has captured her journey climbing to the top of the Statue of Liberty’s crown – using just her hands.
Mandy Horvath lost both of her legs above the knee after she was hit by a coal train near a bar she had been to in Steele City, Nebraska.
However, determined not to let her disability hold her back, Mandy, now 26, is taking on challenges even able bodied people would not.
On September 28, the double-amputee climbed to the top of the Statue of Liberty’s crown using just the strength in her arms to pull her up.
The climb, which saw Mandy drag herself up over 250 steps, took only seven minutes to complete and was captured on camera.
Mandy, who lives in Colorado Springs, said: “I have already climbed two mountains since losing my legs, but this climb was something special.
“Being an American, it was amazing to be able to climb up such a huge monument in our culture that is recognised around the world.
“I had never been to see Lady Liberty before but it was always something that I wanted to do, so I wasn’t going to let my disability stop me.
“I want to show people that anything is really possible and you just have to put your mind to it – if I can come through everything I have been through, then others can to.
“Climbing also helps a lot with the PTSD that I have suffered since my incident – and being able to see the view from the crown, as the sun was rising, was an unforgettable moment.”
Mandy had gone on a night out with some new friends in July 2014.
On her night out she only drank two bottles of beer and two shots, and believes one of the drinks was spiked.
After waking up in an ambulance, Mandy was astonished to discover that she was hit by a train hundreds of yards from the pub and believes she had been spiked and left on the tracks for dead.
Mandy added: “I was having a great night until this happened.
“I remember taking my last drink of the night outside to have a cigarette.
“The next moment I woke up I was in the back of an ambulance and was being told that my legs were ripped off by being hit by a train.
“It’s suspected that I was given a date rape drug, but that couldn’t be confirmed because they couldn’t do a blood panel test on me when I was in hospital.
“I had to stay in the hospital for months to receive surgery on what was left of my legs, but whilst I was in there I was determined that this wasn’t going to destroy me.
“From then on I focused on getting myself up and walking again, I’ve always been very active and knew straight away that I’d get through it.”
Having completed Pike Peaks in 2018 and 2019 and the Manitou Incline since losing her legs, Mandy is on a mission to put her disability to a good use to raise awareness for charities who have helped her in the past.
She said: “Although climbing Lady Liberty is on a smaller scale than the mountains, it’s something that is very well recognised worldwide so will hopefully help raise a lot of awareness for Cars4Heroes who gave me after my incident.
“Alongside this, I hope that videos of my challenges help inspire others to get up and do something.
“I want this to help anybody who is going through a darker time – I went through the worst time imaginable and look at me now.”
Mandy completed the climb on behalf of Cars4Heroes, to donate please visit: www.paypal.me/cars4heroes