Mandy Horvath always loved the great outdoors, just as much as her job working as a chef. She had just turned 21 and says she only had a couple drinks at a bar when she walked outside to get some air — that was the last thing she remembers.
“I believe I was incapacitated by a date rape drug,” Horvath told Inside Edition.
She somehow wandered onto nearby railroad tracks and passed out. A freight train ran over her. She awoke from a medically-induced coma to discover that both her legs had been amputated. Inside Edition spoke to Horvath about the ordeal and came along with her as she was fitted for new prosthetic legs.
“I went through a really long period of time wondering what my life was going to be like and how I was going to maneuver and how I was going to live normally,” Horvath said.
She adapted to getting around in a wheelchair, but her ordeal led to a problem with alcohol. One drunken episode led to some jail time.
“That judge stopping me and throwing the book at me saved my life,” Horvath said.
It proved to be a major turning point. Horvath became a viral sensation after she climbed the 2,700-step Manitou Incline Hiking Trail in her hometown of Colorado Springs. She also trekked 14,000 feet up Pike’s Peak — twice. And she made her way up to the top of the Statue of Liberty.
“I kind of had to lift myself up by the railing,” Horvath said.
Stan Patterson of Prosthetics and Orthotics Associates in Orlando, Florida is outfitting Horvath with new prosthetic legs.
“I’m very proud of her,” Patterson said. “What she’s having to deal with and overcome.”
Horvath is the first bilateral amputee in the United States to test out next-generation bionic limbs, which takes some getting used to. But there’s no slowing Horvath down.
She celebrated with former pro wrestler Steve Chamberlain, whose charity “50 legs” has taught her that if you fall, pick yourself up and don’t look back.
“My message to other people is don’t give up. Tomorrow is another victory,” Horvath said.