How This Brazilian Model Triumphed Over Expectations After Losing Her Leg

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Life always changes after a car accident, and nobody knows it better than 21-year-old Paola Antonini. 

In 2014, the Brazilian model lost her leg after being struck by a drunk driver. But rather than shrink into the shadows, Antonini cranked up her efforts, and has since risen through the Instagram ranks with cheerful shots showing off bold bikinis — and a sleek prosthetic leg. 

"Between being unhappy forever and thankful for being alive, I chose the second option," she told the Brazilian website VejaBH.

Antonini posts regularly to her 615,000 followers, her posts regularly generating tens of thousands of likes.

A photo posted by (@) on

A photo posted by (@) on

A photo posted by (@) on

Antonini's story comes soon after Lauren Wasser — who lost her leg from Toxic Shock Syndrome, a potentially deadly condition linked to tampon use — grabbed headlines for landing a gig with Nike and making her New York Fashion Week debut.

"It took me a while to figure out if I was still worthy, if I was still pretty," Wasser, who is suing the tampon company, told Vice.

A setback? No question. A career killer? Hardly.

Read more: Model Who Lost Her Leg to Toxic Shock Syndrome, Makes Fashion Week Debut