Model and personal trainer Rabekah Malook, 22, was hit by a speeding driver on her way to school when she was just 14 years old. The devastating crash left her covered in horrific injuries, including brain hemorrhages, a cut lung and a snapped shin
A model who sustained life-changing injuries in a horror accident in her teens has gone on to become a fitness instructor after learning how to walk again.
Rabekah Malook, 22, who models for beauty and fashion labels and also works as a personal trainer at an east London gym, was just 14 years old when she was rushed to intensive care after a speeding driver ran her down on her way to school .
When she arrived at Paddington General Hospital a team of 15 doctors were waiting to sedate her and get her urgently on life support.
They found the impact of the collision had fractured her skull, and she’d been left with three brain hemorrhages.
Her shin had also been shattered in a “clean break” and there were cuts on her lungs, as well as a number of teeth knocked out in the crash, she told The Mirror.
But with the help of DIY physiotherapy and perseverance with her training – she says she steadily built up her strength so she can now spend hours working out in the gym each day.
Recalling the day she was hit, she told The Mirror: “I was on my way to school, crossing a road I did every morning, and a driver was speeding while checking his phone or fiddling with the radio, and he crashed into me. ”
Rabekah, who lived in Golders Green, was left lying in the middle of the street for paramedics to get to the scene. As they arrived, so did her parents of her after her terrified sister of her found her in the road.
She adds: “By the time my parents had come out the ambulance had arrived. My mum passed out because she wasn’t allowed in with me.
“My dad was the first at the scene, so he hopped in – but by that time I had regained consciousness. I was still in shock and started punching out and kicking while laying on the stretcher.”
She explained how the trauma of the crash – which had fractured her skull and caused bleeding on the brain – had affected her ability to speak.
She said: “I wasn’t able to make words, I was just making sounds.
“Eventually they got me to a hospital in Paddington where there were a team of 10 to 15 doctors waiting for me.”
She added: “They basically sedated me to do the scans to see what injuries I had.
“After that I was put on life support in intensive care – hooked up to the machines with tubes coming out of me.
“After leaving the ICU I was in a comatose state for the next two or three days.”
While drifting in and out of consciousness, Rabekah’s terrified family had been trying to help her communicate.
And the 14-year-old’s answers worried them further after she replied that she just had “really bad flu” or that she’d broken her leg “at school sports day”, or even told them she was convinced she was a “duck “.
“It’s funny now, but at the time it was terrifying for my parents”, she explained.
Rabekah said: “I had a fractured skull and three brain hemorrhages. And at one point the doctors were thinking of operating on my brain.
“I was left with a clean break across my shin bone, a cut lung, I’m partly deaf in my right ear, all broken teeth, fractured skull as well as the brain injuries. I also had a very deep cut worryingly close to my jugular that needed stitches.”
After leaving hospital, Rabekah said the crash also had a devastating impact on her mental health.
She explained: “I was very withdrawn emotionally. I didn’t really care if I lived or died. I wouldn’t eat either for a while so lost a lot of weight from that.”
As part of her recovery, Rabekah had to undergo specialist therapy for the brain trauma and her hearing issues. She said she also had to learn how to walk again.
With no physiotherapists in her area, her dad took the lead – taking her on long walks to help regain the muscle strength in her shattered leg.
Rabekah was “turned in to an elderly woman at the age of 14”, she said, adding that she had to use a zimmer frame to get around.
“It majorly affected my balance, and the brain damage left me dizzy all the time”, she said.
“Even now I can still get really tired and stumble around a lot. My clients at the gym even see me falling over sometimes.
“I had to learn how to walk and would hobble around with a limp. And I couldn’t walk in a straight line either. Then I was having headaches every day and migraines every other day too.
“I had to get around in a wheelchair because of my leg injury but also was given a zimmer frame to use. I was turned in to an elderly woman at the age of 14.”
Rabekah posts about her fitness story on her Instagram here, and modeling shots here.