Lisa Willis

Home State: Maryland

Before amputation

Prior to my amputation I was a very active teaching fitness and boot camp classes on a part-time basis. I am a licensed clinical counselor and have always been very passionate about helping others live a healthy lifestyle. I was involved in gymnastics as a child and started weight training when I was in high school. During undergraduate school as a member of the Army reserve Officer Training Corps and continue my passion for fitness. In March 2012, I received my Zumba certification, began teaching classes and started having pains in my right foot. I didn’t think it was anything serious and thought it was probably coming from too much exercise. The pain in my right foot would come and go, but then it started to get worse. I went to my practitioner and was told that I had sciatica, but the pain wasn’t going away. On a Thursday night, I went to the emergency room because the pain was so unbearable and was then told there was no pulse in my foot so I was airlifted to a hospital. After admission I immediately went into surgery due to a blood clot in my femoral artery. The surgery was unsuccessful and I was told that I might need any dictation. I wanted a second opinion so I was transferred to another hospital. After a few days of praying and hoping, the doctors could not find a pulse in my right foot, the decision was made to amputate.

After Amputation

The healing process is long, but my faith in God sustained me. I received a lot of support from my family and friends.  I always knew that I was not going to let this  stop me from doing whatever God has in store for me. In June 2013 I received my first prosthesis got the opportunity to attend a running clinic. At that time, I decided to enroll in the Paralympic sport team, participated in water rowing, and became a certified indoor rowing instructor. I want to continue to be an inspiration to others.

Passion

I was unable to work, but I needed to do something to feel accomplished, so I taught myself how to crochet and began making clothes in accessory items for friends and family. I also started a DIY blog teaching how people how to up cycle and repurpose their clothes.

Present

It is truly a blessing to be a part of the ABR family. Aaron and his staff are very caring and passionate about helping amputees every way possible. I have more insight and knowledge about amputations and the process of designing a prosthesis. I am empowered. I feel I have the right tools I need to be successful in helping myself and others dealing with limb loss. Since I have been in Nashville, I have met other amputees who are still waiting to get their prostheses. I listen to their stories and could identify with them. This is only the beginning and I plan to continue to run 5K’s and raise funds for nonprofit organizations and to make the national championship in track and field. I have made arrangements with my local “Fleet Feet” running store in Gaithersburg, Maryland to participate in their 5k training program.