Fifteen Years On, Sophie Delezio Heads To Her Year 12 Formal

Year 12 formal can often be a night to remember, but for Sophie Delezio, it's yet another remarkable milestone.

She waits outside her home in a floor-length gown and heels with friends -- including her "perfect fake date" -- as a limo pulls up.

Delezio has a case of "formal fever", but it's more pronounced than most.

"Going to the formal has been my dream, because it isn't just about the end of school, but a launchpad into the world," the now 17-year-old told Woman's Day on the night.

"It means I've made it to here."

Delezio has grown up in the spotlight of the Australian public, showing incredible strength and resilience way beyond her years, following a horrific car accident at her childcare centre in Fairlight almost 15 years ago.

Sophie Delezio. Photo: AAP

Trapped underneath an out-of-control car, she suffered burns to about 85 percent of her body, losing both her feet, some fingers on her right hand and her right ear.

Just three years later in 2006 Delezio was dealt another blow when she was injured in a road accident where she was hit by a car. Again she found herself in hospital with multiple injuries. And yet again this resilient girl fought through her obstacles and came out the other side.

Sophie Delezio leaves the Children's Hospital Westmead with her father Ron Delezio. Photo: AAP

The now 17-year-old has endured many operations since her initial accident at the centre, making regular hospital trips and visits to 'Dr. P' -- the surgeon to whom she says she owes her life. He’ll be receiving a photo of Delezio with her family on formal night.

“I love that guy, and I hope this will be a very proud moment for him, too,” she said.

Sophie Delezio walks out from Sydney Children's Hospital in June 2006. Image: AAP

Growing up, Delezio has shared a number of proud moments. Right now, she’s working towards sitting her Higher School Certificate. As a student at Bradfield Senior College, she has her eyes on a career in acting. 

“Instantly I am no longer Sophie. I am whatever character I’m playing,” she told Fairfax Media, of her love of being onstage. Delezio has performed at local theatres and appeared in productions at Westmead Children’s Hospital.

“I have been doing it since I can remember … I just love the freedom and the difference -- each day you never do the same thing,” she said.

And then there was getting behind the wheel of a car, a feeling she described as being “in heaven”.

These are difficult milestones for anyone, let alone Delezio who uses prosthetic limbs. She also planned on dancing through the searing discomfort by wearing them, fitted with adjustable shoes, on formal night.

“I wear my legs way more than I’m supposed to anyway, because I’m stubborn and I value my independence,” she said.

Featured image: AAP

Contact the author: ebrancatisano@networkten.com.au.