‘I could not be prouder’: Kidnapped Angel Lynn who was paralysed takes first step in years in remarkable recovery journey

18 May 2023, 08:41

Angel has continued to astonish doctors with her progress.
Angel has continued to astonish doctors with her progress. Picture: Channel 4/Family handout/Facebook via Nikki Lynn

By Jenny Medlicott

A young woman who was left paralysed, with brain damage and a double skull fracture after being kidnapped by an ex-partner has astounded doctors by taking her first steps in nearly three years.

Angel Lynn, 22, couldn’t eat, walk or talk after falling headfirst out of a van moving at 60mph in September 2020. She was grabbed and forced into the van by her ex-boyfriend Chay Bowskill.

But despite doctors telling her family she wouldn’t survive during the aftermath of the incident, Angel’s mum has revealed her daughter has taken her first steps since the accident in a miraculous turn of events.

Her mum, Nikki Lynn, told the Daily Mail of the achievement: “You could see it in her eyes, how hard she was trying.

“She was shaking all over and her left leg kept getting stuck, but she was focusing with every bit of strength she has.

Angel before the incident, now 22, was kidnapped by her ex-partner in September 2020.
Angel before the incident, now 22, was kidnapped by her ex-partner in September 2020. Picture: Family Handout

“Anything Angel sets her mind to, she does. She tries so hard and she doesn't give up.

“And she did it. I could not be prouder."

Angel’s physical progress was aided by the help of physiotherapists, but her achievements haven't stopped there.

The 22-year-old can now also write the help of an iPad, she can make a cup of tea, is able to tell her parents she loves them in sign language and indicate ‘yes’ or ‘no’ in response to questions.

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Angel was left paralysed after falling out the van headfirst.
Angel was left paralysed after falling out the van headfirst. Picture: Nikki Lynn/Facebook

Her journey has been arduous since the incident, she’s contracted covid and pneumonia, suffered a collapsed lung, lost sight in one eye and has been so close to death she’s been read her last of rites on three separate occasions.

Nikki previously said: "She might not be able to talk, but my Angel is definitely in there.

"You can see it in her eyes. If she finds something funny she'll make a noise and her shoulders will lift.

"She went to her friend's 21st birthday the other day, and we've taken her to the pub."

Earlier this month, her parents shared Angel’s story in a moving Channel 4 documentary, The Kidnap of Angel Lynn, alongside heartbreaking clips of the 22-year-old before the kidnapping.

Angel's skull fracture on the top of her head.
Angel's skull fracture on the top of her head. Picture: Channel 4
Angel's skull fracture.
Angel's skull fracture. Picture: Channel 4

Read more: Shocking scans show Angel Lynn's double skull fracture after falling out of van following kidnap by ex-boyfriend

Read more: Kidnapped Angel Lynn has 'blocked out' memories of her attacker after being left brain-damaged by falling out of van

“I miss that smile and the sound of her laughter,' Nikki said.

“Angel was always laughing. She was such a happy girl. She had a beautiful laugh.”

The college student was kidnapped by her ex-partner Chay Bowskill in September 2020, who picked her up and forced her into a van.

Harrowing footage caught on CCTV showed the moment she was captured by Bowskill, who became increasingly hostile towards the end of their relationship, which is when Angel tried to leave him.

Bowskill, kidnapped her with the help of accomplice Rocco Sansome.

In January 2022, Bowskill was sentenced at Leicester Crown Court to seven and a half years in prison for kidnap, coercive and controlling behaviour, and perverting the court of justice.

This sentence was later increased to 12 years after senior judges at the Court of Appeal decided his first term was not long enough, handing him an extra four and a half years.

But he was acquitted of causing grievous bodily harm, as it remained unclear how Angel fell out of the van.

Chay Bowskill was sentenced to a total of 12 years in prison.
Chay Bowskill was sentenced to a total of 12 years in prison. Picture: Leicestershire Police/PA

Read more: Top Gear's Freddie Flintoff had 'no helmet or airbag' and 'was left in agony for 45 minutes after crash'

Almost three years on, Angel has continued to defy the odds and astound doctors with her remarkable progress.

Before the incident, the 22-year-old victim was a college student and part-time cleaner. She met Bowskill through a mutual friend about a year before the incident.

The Lynn family home is currently being renovated, paid for by a public fundraiser, to adapt their home to cater for Angel so she can leave the rehabilitation centre she’s currently living in and return home.

Her mum said: “We'd love to have her home for Christmas. By then, I hope, she might be able to walk and talk a bit, and eat a little, so we can all be together as a family.

“People were ready to give up on her, but she's proved them wrong time and time again.

“She is still so full of life — and she deserves to have the best life we can possibly give her.”

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