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Beauty queen overcomes tragedy, takes home crown


Melissa Walsh began competing in beauty pageants when she was a teenager. After taking a break for a few years to start a family, Walsh found the stage again, this time as an adult. But on November 8th, 2008, a nearly fatal car accident forced Melissa Walsh to stop competing.

“I had a broken left arm; I have a plate in the arm now. I had broken ribs which punctured my right lung and my pelvis was shattered,” Walsh said.

Melissa spent a month in New Hanover Regional Medical Center as she recovered from her injuries. Even doing little things proved to be a challenge. “I had to learn to sit up. I had to learn to walk again. With the left arm being broke, there was no using it to push or to pull,” she described.

She still suffers from pain, memory loss and even seizures, but last month she decided she wanted to start competing again. Her first competition was on June 11th, for the Global US Woman Pageant. Melissa defied the odds just by competing, and she was thrilled when she took home the crown. “I was shocked but amazed at the same time. It was an amazing feeling,” Melissa said.

She has a lot of responsibilities as Global US Woman 2010, including appearances at Fort Bragg and the Chapel Hill Children’s Hospital, but after what she’s been through, she’s up for the challenge.

Walsh said she will continue to compete in beauty pageants. Her next one is the American Woman Pageant in Myrtle Beach in October.

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Story summary

videoIn November, a Columbus County beauty queen’s life changed forever when she nearly died in a car accident. This month, Melissa Walsh got back on the stage for the first time since her accident. While the competition was stiff, her courage made her a fierce competitor.

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