A FRONTLINE nurse put on her running shoes and completed an ultramarathon for her friend who was left paralysed by a freak sports injury.

Wendy Oates, 44, studied at the University of Brighton with Laura Bibby, 42, in the late 90s and they worked in accident and emergency together.

But last year Laura suffered a slipped disc and it left her paralysed from the waist down and in need of surgery.

She has since been working hard to be able to walk again, but was devastated by the news she would never be able to run again.

The Argus reported how the accident had turned her life upside down, and she said: “My GP told me that I may never walk again. That was the hardest thing I have ever been told.

“But it is also the driving force behind me wanting to defy that diagnosis.Where there’s a will, there’s a way.

“I will push to get back what I can. I never expected, a year down the line, to be where I am today.

“Just because I am in a wheelchair doesn’t mean it has to define me.”

Wendy, from Hailsham, saw Laura’s incredible effort to complete a sponsored ten kilometre walk with her family to raise cash for others who have been affected by spinal injuries.

So she decided to take on her own ultramarathon, also as a tribute to her father who died earlier this year aged 67.

She ran 68km on what would have been his birthday last month.

Wendy said: “I am super proud of how Laura has managed her injury and know she has fought really hard to regain the movement and independence she has.

“I’m hoping that by putting myself out there and leaving my comfort zone, I can show Laura I’m on the same page as much as I can be and support her recovery journey. I saw the effort and pain she endured to complete her walk and that inspired me to run to boost her fundraising.”

Wendy completed her run with the help of Paul Henderson, an experienced ultramarathon runner from Hailsham Harriers running club.

The next day she returned to A&E to complete a shift looking after patients there.

Laura was there to greet her at the finish line. She said: “To have Wendy back me up in such a selfless way is absolutely incredible.

“She has always been there for me but running this far on my behalf took it to a whole new level. It means the world to me that she got behind my appeal.”

To donate visit justgiving.com/fundraising/laura-bibby3