Burns victim Sophie Delezio is taking on the world with the power of positivity

She's a very determined young woman.
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As a child, Sophie Delezio was thrust into the national spotlight after two unimaginable accidents, each unbelievably cruel and shocking, saw her left with severe injuries.

WATCH NOW: Sophie Delezio shares her story. Article continues after video.

Her story will forever be etched into the psyche of Australians, many of whom begged the question of how one child could be faced with so much hardship and pain so early on in their life. 

Just days before Christmas in 2003, an out-of-control car ploughed through her Sydney daycare centre in Fairlight, trapping her underneath. 

As a result, the then two-year-old suffered third-degree burns to 85% of her small body and lost both her feet, several fingers, and an ear. 

She spent almost an entire year in hospital recovering. 

A smile that stole the hearts of a nation. (Credit: Getty)

Two and a half years later as Sophie was being pushed by her nanny in her stroller at a road crossing, a car careened into her, throwing her 18 meters.

As a result, she suffered a broken jaw and shoulder, bruising, a tear in her left lung, numerous rib fractures, a heart attack and a lifelong brain injury that impacts her ability to learn.

The nation shared in their collective grief and heartache for Sophie, the little girl who had endured so much. 

Sophie is an inspiration to all. (Credit: Getty)

But over the years, and despite her tough start to life, Sophie’s overwhelming positivity has been infectious, her trademark smile staying with her as she has grown into a vivacious young woman.

The now 22-year-old has never let her accidents, or the lifelong disabilities they left her with get in the way of a rich and rewarding life. 

“In my mind, I’m not ‘Sophie the girl with no legs’ but someone completely normal. I think of myself as Sophie the chatterbox, the socialite, the girl who loves a good hamburger and enjoys each day as much as she can,” she has previously shared with our sister publication The Australian Women’s Weekly

“Everything is a choice,” she adds.

“You can choose not to see the positive in things. You can choose to just focus on the negatives and wallow in pity. Everyone is allowed to grieve but you also need to look at the beauty in the world.”

A special occassion. (Credit: Instagram)

From her fundraising efforts and activism work to support those with similar injuries to her dreams of becoming a paralympic athlete, studying abroad, working as a journalist and keynote speaker and travelling the world, nothing stands in her way.

She’s even fallen in love and will get married to her childhood sweetheart Joseph Salerno, in the NSW Hunter Valley in 2024.

Sophie and Joseph started dating when they were in Year 9. (Credit: Getty)

Joseph proposed to Sophie on Valentine’s Day in 2023 – how romantic!

“There is so much hardship in life, why not just take the beautiful moments and hold onto them? Hold onto the beautiful things in your life as much as possible – and that’s what we do,” Sophie shared of her relationship with our sister publication Woman’s Day in 2023.

In preparation for the next chapter of her life as a wife, she co-purchased an apartment with her fiancee where they happily reside.

Sophie also underwent surgery on her legs in the latter half of 2023 to help with her mobility and help her walk down the aisle on her special day.

The 22 year old is set to take to Aussie screens in 2024. (Credit: Fairfax)

As for what 2024 holds, Sophie has landed a major television gig with Channel Seven where she has joined the team at 7NEWS Spotlight as a presenter. 

But this isn’t her first foray into journalism, the 22-year-old previously wrote columns for Body+Soul magazine where she interviewed inspirational people. 

“I hope to be able to connect strangers to each story – to show the beauty behind the pain of these incredible people,” Sophie explained at the time.

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