18-year-old Paralympic swimming star, Haven Shepherd, has shared her inspirational journey from surviving a suicide bomb attack at the hands of her biological father as a baby to competing in the Tokyo Games.
Back in 2004, Haven was blown 10 metres in the air in a blast caused by her father who had strapped a bomb to both his own body and unbelievably, his wife’s. Both were killed, but Haven survived.
The infant was left with severe burns, injuries and blood loss. Both her legs were amputated and her head shaved “to dig the shrapnel from my scalp”.
She was subsequently adopted by an American family, Rob and Shelly Shepherd.
Growing up, she learnt how to walk using prosthetic legs, and swim in the family’s backyard pool in Missouri.