A YOUNG Hampshire woman has said how becoming a mother has given her a new lease of life - after a failed suicide attempt cost her her legs.

Seven years ago, at the age of 18, Helen Galsworthy lay down on railway tracks in Eastleigh in a bid to end her life.

She was suffering from depression and addicted to cocaine.

At the last moment, she moved as the train approached, taking off her legs from below the knee.

She remained conscious just long enough to see her lower legs lying on the tracks, before a passing dog walker raised the alarm and called an ambulance to get her to hospital.

Now, at the age of 25, Helen says she has finally come to terms with the incident enough to be able to speak about her ordeal, after finding happiness with boyfriend William Ryves and her son Thomas, aged 2.

She said: "When I lost my legs I thought my life was over, but now I have so much to live for. Thomas has made me realise that I’m here for a reason."

At the time of her suicide bid, Helen had suffered years of bullying at school, before turning to drugs.

She went on to begin to study Media at university only to drop out and start to see suicide as her only escape.

She said: "Strangely I felt really happy. I was more at peace than I had been for a long time.

"I just lay down and shut my eyes and put some music on waiting for when I got hit by the train but it didn’t go to plan. I moved slightly at the last minute and ended up with just my legs across the tracks. I just remember thinking, 'Oh God, I’ve really messed this up'.

"I could see a lot of blood and the end of my jeans were cut off. It was agonising. I couldn’t believe what had happened, I lay down there to die, not to end up disabled."

Following the incident, she spent six weeks in hospital, but when she was discharged she found it difficult to adjust to a live without legs.

Helen said: "I didn’t think anyone would want me and I thought I’d never be able to achieve the things I had wanted in life like getting married and having children.

"For a long time life was unbearable until 2011 when I fell pregnant with Thomas. Thomas wasn’t planned and I thought I had put my body through too much to ever be able to conceive.

"But I had always wanted to be a mum. His dad and I split not long after he was born but he is the best thing that’s ever happened to me."

What's more, she has taken the decision to begin studying again, and has started a degree in criminology.

As part of her continued ambition to make the most of her life, she even took part in a charity skydive, which was designed to raise cash for amputees and volunteers on the psychiatric ward where she was once a patient.

She added: "Losing my legs was devastating but now I’m just happy that I survived. There was a time when I didn’t want to live but now I’m a mum and my life has a meaning. After I lost my legs I thought I’d be alone forever but now I have everything I’ve ever wanted."

  • For confidential support call the Samaritans in the UK on 08457 90 90 90, visit a local Samaritans branch or visit their website.