An Aberdeen woman has triumphed in the boxing ring just a year after having the front of her skull caved in playing football.
Judy Humber needed 120 staples to her head, as well as having a metal plate inserted into her skull, after she was injured when playing football for Cove Rangers.
During the match, she and another player collided when they both went in for a header.
The 23-year-old, who went on to play the second half of the game, later found out she had suffered severe concussion and fractured her skull, resulting in major surgery.
The keen sports fan, who works as a PR account executive at Big Partnership, said: “I had severe concussion and the brain injury resulted from the impact.
“I got reconstructive surgery and they inserted a metal plate and eight screws. They used 120-odd staples as well.
“I was off work entirely for the first three months, then went back on phased return from July and gradually built up to full-time again until I was back fully beginning in February.
“So it was 10 to 11 months of recovery.”
Judy, who lives in the Midstocket area, was faced with severe headaches and short-term memory loss following the incident on March 20 last year.
She said: “I couldn’t watch TV for more than half an hour and I couldn’t get normal words out and sentences.
“I didn’t want to accept that I wasn’t going to be able to do sport. It gave me a lot of motivation to get better.”
Judy refused to let her injury hold her back and started to gradually return to doing light exercise.
Last year she went back to some non-contact Muay Thai boxing, a sport she first took up just over two years ago.
She said: “I got back to training as much as possible.
“I didn’t know if I would be able to go back to fighting.
“I had to convince a lot of people to let me fight again.
“I don’t like being told I can’t do things.”
Last weekend, after a year of blood, sweat and tears, Judy stepped through the ropes again at a competition in Birmingham – and managed to stop her opponent in the third round.
The inspirational sportswoman has also returned to football and is back playing with Cove Rangers again.
She said: “My football team have been really good and they had me in doing exercises if it was no contact or no risk.
“I play with a head band that’s got a protector with impact foam on it.”
Although Judy has made a recovery, she has to be careful and attend the doctor regularly for check-ups.
She said: “I have to be really careful if I get headaches or anything and listen to my body a lot. I could do myself more damage.
“I get regular check-ups with my doctor and he is fully aware of the sport I’m doing.”
Judy added: “With a brain injury, nobody knows how long the recovery will take. You just have to see how it goes.
“A lot of people said I wouldn’t be able to fight again but I had the surgery and I healed up really well. I feel really lucky that it wasn’t a lot worse and I haven’t had to give up the sort of things I enjoy.”