COMMONWEALTH Games judo star Stephanie Inglis has given a significant sign that she is recovering from a horror motorcycle accident by opening an eye for the first time.

The 27-year-old, who lives in Duloch, also held the hand of her dad, Robert, in what her family described as “extremes of emotion” in the Bangkok hospital where she is being cared for.

Stephanie, who won silver at Glasgow 2014, underwent a five-hour operation last Monday after suffering serious head injuries in Vietnam four weeks ago.

She was being taxied to a school in the north of the country, where she had been teaching English to children, when she was thrown off the bike after her skirt was caught in its wheel.

After spending almost two weeks in hospital in Vietnam, she was moved to Thailand for specialist care.

In a post on the “Save Steph” Facebook page, her family said: “Upon arrival at the hospital this morning [Tuesday] they [Stephanie’s parents] found Stephanie with her left eye fully open and watching what was going on. When she saw Robert and Alison, she started to move her face. Alison asked her: ‘Stephanie, if you can hear us and know we are here, blink’, and she did. Alison told Robert to hold her hand and as he went to do so Stephanie lifted her hand for Robert to take it.

“Then Stephanie began to cry. I can’t comprehend what this must have done to her parents; on one hand the joy they felt was extreme, on the other they have never felt such sadness. They wanted to know if she was in pain and had so many other questions to ask but instead they just told her she was OK, she was going to make it, they were there for her and so are many other people who are fighting this fight with her.

“At last we have that breakthrough. The implications seem to suggest not only will Steph make it, she will recover to be the beautiful, talented and inspiring woman she has grown into. She does have the strength to fight this and doctors believe there is no reason this can’t happen.”

The family added Stephanie was due to have an MRI scan yesterday and, if there are no complications, they would “start working towards her move back to the UK”.

Stephanie's cousin Louise Ferrier, who runs Centre Stage Dance Academy in Crossgates, said the family were "overwhelmed" by her progress, and said: "It has been a whirlwind four weeks but we can now see some light at the end of the tunnel. We've all been crying and feel a bit overwhelmed, and we realise that it is baby steps, but we are so thankful for everyone's support because we might not be where we are otherwise.

"It is something to go on and the doctors are saying she will come out of it, although the extent of the damage is something we don't know. I'm so proud of her; she's such a fighter and has been hanging on in there.

"Last week we were told it could be months before she could be moved back to the UK, but now it could be a shorter time span. We're really happy with her progress."

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