A FORMER soldier who was told she would never walk again after suffering a spinal injury has won a clutch of medals at a gruelling games in Chicago.

Maria-Theresa Miles was among a 40-strong UK team competing in the United States Department of Defence Warrior Games.

They were up against competitors from the home nation and Australia – all were ill or injured service members or veterans.

Maria-Theresa – part of a UK contingent put together by Help for Heroes – scooped gold and silver medals in swimming, and bronze in discus and recumbent cycling.

"The whole thing has been awesome," said Maria-Theresa, 42, of Keighley.

"All the international athletes have gone through similar experiences and the camaraderie has been superb.

"Everybody has been cheering on one another.

"It's the first time I've taken part in these Games and it has simply been fantastic.

"I would like to say a huge thank-you to NRGym in Keighley where I train and the coaches at Bradford Swimming Club – their help and support has been invaluable."

Maria-Theresa was severely injured during an Army training exercise and was medically discharged in 1999.

The injury has left the former acting sergeant with permanent nerve damage and no feeling down her left side.

But she has defied medical opinion.

Last year she took part, with other injured veterans, in an energy-draining round-Britain sailing challenge.