A Brazilian model who lost her leg after she was hit by a drunk driver refuses to let her disability get in the way of her modelling career.
Paola Antonini France Costa, 21, from Belo Horizonte, continues to wow on the catwalk sporting a prosthetic leg and has earned more than 600,000 followers on Instagram with her stunning shots that see her swimming, laughing and skateboarding despite her disability.
The model lost her leg in a car accident just after Christmas in 2014 as she packed her car to head off to the coast for New Year’s Eve.
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Paola Antonini posts many bikini photos to her Instagram, proudly displaying her prosthetic limb. Seen here on the Muro Alto beach on the coast of Brazil
The Brazilian model has not allowed her disability to get in the way of doing the things she loves, including dancing and skateboarding
Paola’s left leg was crushed and despite four attempts to save her limb, it had to be amputated below the knee.
Recalling the incident in an interview with Brazilian news site Veja BH shortly after it happened, she said: ‘I’d never felt such intense pain in my life.’
‘I chose not to look to see the size of the damage, but I knew it was serious.’
Paola had just begun learning to walk again when she was forced by medical advice to have her amputation extended to above her knee.
However, despite the devastation of a second amputation, the model made the decision not to hide her prosthesis from anyone.
It took a lot of physiotherapy for Paola to get to where she is today. Pictured here at a fitting for a new prosthetic leg.
The model posts bikini snaps to Instagram without hiding her prosthetic leg in order to be a ‘model for other amputees’
She said: ‘I want to be a model for other amputees.’
Paola has certainly managed that as she is a favourite on the runway in Brazil.
She also proudly posts photos on Instagram showing off her new prosthetic leg in bikini shots.
She has racked up 607,000 Instagram fans who are in admiration of her unstoppable passion for life and bravery.
One user commented: ‘You are my warrior, if only everybody had your energy.’
Paola is very active and exercises every day, posting images of her work-outs to Instagram. Pictured here at her local gym.
The beautiful Brazilian has many supporters on Instagram, with over 600,000 followers. Seen right debuting wavy locks after a trip to the hairdressers
The 21 year-old had to go through two amputation operations after her horrific car accident
Whilst another wrote: ‘It’s amazing to see how you thrive, although it makes me sad that your leg was amputated. To see how you have dealt with it is an inspiration.’
And user named jubourbon commented on one of her pictures: ‘Paola… thank you for sharing a bit of your life with us! I’m going through a tough time for health reasons, and seeing your photos and videos, you inspire me to fight and always try to look on the bright side!’
While Paola has made the choice to focus on positivity and trying to inspire others, her parents talked to Em.com.br about the horror of their daughter’s accident, describing it as ‘the worst day of their lives’.
Paola has an unstoppable passion for life and has not allowed the car accident to define who she is
The model is a favourite on the catwalk in Brazil, where she does not hide her prothesis. She is seen here walking for fashion designer Alex Moreira.
She has become an inspiration for many people on social media who often post messages of support. She is seen here modelling at a Brazilian shopping mall.
Shortly after the accident, her father Antonio Tadeu Franca Costa said: ‘We are traumatised by what happened to my daughter and when we are totally focused on her recovery, asking everyone to pray a lot for her.’
Paola and her boyfriend Artha Magalhaes dos Santos had got up early and were leaving their home at 5am to travel to the Rio de Janeiro coast for New Year’s Eve.
They put one last bag in the boot when they heard a rumbling noise before Paola was hit by the Fiat Cinquecento, driven by a nightclub hostess who admitted to drinking two beers.