A YOUNG woman who suffered life-threatening injuries and brain damage in a horrific car crash has received a major award.

Zara Roberts was announced as learner of the year at the Inspire! Adult Learner Awards 2010, held at Cardiff’s Coal Exchange last night.

Zara, 24, from Llangollen, had earlier been presented with the Young Adult Learner of the Year Award and was chosen from all category winners as a worthy ambassador and an inspiration to others for adult learning in Wales.

The award was presented by Jane Hutt, Welsh minister for business and budget.

The Inspire! awards are organised by NIACE Dysgu Cymru, which is celebrating 25 years of promoting adult learning in Wales, and recognise learners whose achievements have been inspirational or life-changing.

As the Leader reported earlier this week, Zara’s life changed forever in 2004 when she was involved in a serious trafffic accident.

She said: “I suffered traumatic brain injury, five broken ribs, a punctured lung, fractured pelvis, elbow and ankle and tore the descending aorta from my heart. I had to learn to talk, walk and do everything from scratch like a baby.”

Before her accident Zara was on her way to university to become a teacher, specialising in special needs.

Although faced with enormous difficulties, Zara fought to achieve her NVQ in supporting teaching and learning in schools level 2.

Richard Spear, director of NIACE Dysgu Cymru said: “Zara really stands out as an example to others. She has overcome incredible obstacles to gain the experience and qualifications to help others and is an excellent ambassador for adult learning in Wales.

“She is now on the road to becoming a teacher. If that’s not resilience, I don’t know what is.”