I've not walked for 20 years after horror car crash nearly killed me – but I just rode across USA, says Loose Women star | The Sun
18th August 2023

“YOU’LL never walk again” were the words uttered to Sophie Morgan 20 years ago today after she was in a near-fatal car accident.

Loose Women panellist Sophie, 38, was 18 and on her way back from a party with four friends when she crashed her car.

She fractured her skull, nose and had a spinal cord injury which left her partially paralysed.

While many would choose to forget a harrowing day like that, Sophie – who is supporting The Sun's Who Cares Wins Awards celebrating NHS Health Heroes -tells us she has celebrated the day every year since, and calls it her “life-day”.

She tells us in an exclusive chat: “It's not about celebrating the fact that I was paralysed.

“It's more about celebrating the fact I didn't die, because I did very nearly die in the crash.


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“It’s about a marking of the day to say, ‘I'm still here. What have I achieved?’

"Back at the beginning, everyone told me there were so many things I couldn't do, shouldn't do, and wouldn't do. 

“And I was like, ‘Hold on a minute. Why not?’ and every year I set the goal a little bit higher and make the goalposts a little bit wider.

“There are a lot of glass ceilings for people like me, and I'm constantly trying to dismantle those.”

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'Hot girl summer'

Sophie, two weeks after her crash, in intensive careCredit: Instagram/sophlmorg

To mark the 20-year anniversary, Sophie has spent the last two weeks achieving her lifelong dream of riding across the USA, and was live on Loose Women today from Los Angeles.

On August 1, she rode on an adapted bike from her London home to Heathrow, before getting a flight to Washington DC – and has been making her way across the US to LA where she’s throwing a “big party” tonight to celebrate.

“I was injured when I was 18,” she explains. “And I think at that age, you feel like you could just go anywhere and do anything and you've got that feeling of excitement about travel.

“I didn't really have that – I was interrupted at that age, and I had a lot of recovery to do for quite some time. 

“Somebody said to me earlier this year, 'Oh, that was like your hot girl summer and it got interrupted, and now you can have another one'."

Sophie says she loves that she was able to just "pack a bag and disappear on an adventure" for three weeks, and was keen to prove to herself and others how much you can do even if you're paralysed.

Epic challenge

On her arrival in DC, Sophie picked up a Spyder – a three-wheel bike modified to have hand brakes rather than foot brakes.

“It’s the perfect vehicle on which to adventure, because it's a trike,” she says.

“So it's got the feeling of exhilaration, and all the fun and the thrill of being exposed to the elements, but it's safe in the sense, it's not going to skid. 

“I know I'm not going to run the risk as much as I would if I was on a motorbike, which I physically can't ride anyway.”

She – along with her best friend Bowl, who’s travelling alongside her – headed straight out on a night ride to see the iconic Washington sights, which she says were “utterly awesome,” before heading to Virginia, through the “rolling hills and winding roads” of Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

Sophie then rode solidly for a few days to get to South Dakota for the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally – the biggest motorcycle rally in the world – where she stayed for a day.

After that it was on to Mount Rushmore and the Black Hills, before heading to Yellowstone National Park.

From Yellowstone, Sophie went to Jackson Hole in Wyoming, where she was able to do activities like kayaking, mountain biking and paragliding.

Describing it as "breathtaking", she added it's the kind of environment "a lot of disabled people might assume would be off-limits, given how inaccessible the great outdoors can be".

But it was better than anything she could have hoped for, as in just two days she got to "fly the clouds, mountain bike, float on a lake, and drive around the Tetons searching for grizzly bears".

After Wyoming, Sophie went down to the coast, then the Avenue of Giants into Napa, then Yosemite “to have some fun for a couple of days”.

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She arrives in LA today. Sharing a snap of herself in Oregon yesterday, she wrote: “I’ve ridden over 4,000 miles now and there are still more to go. 

“I have no words left in me at this point, I’ve run out of energy entirely, but I’m the happiest and fullest I’ve ever been in my life. The finish line in LA looms. What. An. Adventure.”

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