AN amputee from Walton was given a spring in her step as she ran for the first time with her new running blade.

Helen Chapman, 46, of Saville Street, lost the lower part of her right leg in 1998 after being badly injured in a car crash.

She refused to let her disability hold her back and has competed in a host of sporting events with an artificial leg, including the London Marathon and the Amputee Games.

But Helen struggled with her prosthetics which cracked under the strain of high-impact sports.

She started fundraising for a state-of-the-art running blade more than a year ago and has now received the blade and completed her first race with it.

Helen said: “It has been a long road to actually get the blade. To finally get to put it on was an incredible feeling.

“For the first time it felt like I was actually running rather than just plodding along on a clunky leg.

“I was always determined not to let it hold me back. Now this is just a dream come true.”

Helen’s first race with the blade was the Silverstone Half Marathon.

She smashed her personal best time by more than 25 minutes as she bounded across the course.

The blade cost a total of £5,500. Helen raised some of the cash herself, while the rest came through special grants.