The Paralympian was just 15-years-old her world was flipped completely upside down when she lost her right foot in a boating acciden t and nearly died.
While out on a lake in Canada with her friend’s family, the teenager was thrown off an inflatable ring and was hit by the boat when it came back round.
Stef, who has won medals for Team GB at multiple Paralympic Games, was nearly cut in half when the boat’s propeller had caught her across the right leg, glutes and lower back.
“What I did know was there was way too much blood. I had no feeling in my right foot and I thought I was going to die,” she told in 2016.
After having her right foot amputated, Stef had a hard road to recovery and started feeling an itching sensation where her right toe had been.
“I’m not going to say it was immediate, it takes a long time to heal as you have a lot of exposed nerve endings that cause a lot of pain,” she said.
“My brain still thought I had a foot for about six months, so I had a constantly itchy right big toe, which was crazy as I didn’t have one, but that’s when I became determined.
A small percentage of amputees will experience the phantom limb sensation, which is usually resolved within two or three years without treatment
Stef continued: “Within three weeks I was home, and I was back in school that September – I loved school.
“Getting back to normal life was the best way to deal with things. People were so kind, they’d help carry my bags and books, and gradually life became more normal.”
Before her first routine, Stef opened up about her fears of skating on her artificial leg.
“It was really hard at the beginning, because I had never skated before, so I didn’t really know what I needed and the first few months were such a struggle,” she explained on Lorraine.
“I didn’t have any confidence putting weight on my artificial side and the thing with skating is you have to be able to balance evenly.”
Stef has battled through recovery and competed at the Paralympics, but says Dancing On Ice is the “hardest thing” she has ever done.
She added: “It was a little bit disheartening initially, but we eventually found a set up that works quite well and it’s given me a lot more confidence.”