When Lisa Maddox, MD, was a Girl Scout, she witnessed the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery. Moved by the sacrifices made for our country, she applied and was accepted to the United States Military Academy at West Point.
After graduation in 1989, Maddox decided to become a doctor and, while on active duty, she completed medical school.
She is currently a physical medicine and rehabilitation physician at the Charlie Norwood Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Augusta, Georgia.
While in the service, Maddox developed complex regional pain syndrome, a chronic condition that forced her to have her left leg amputated above the knee in 2006.
“The hardest part of my journey has been accepting the fact that things are different,” Maddox said. “I had multiple joint issues prior to the amputation. By missing a leg, it puts a lot of stress on my other joints, causing them to wear more quickly than they would have otherwise.”
No worn joint, missing leg, or pain would keep this veteran athlete from excelling—but now she does it in a wheelchair, including while playing tennis.
“I would like to make Team Army for the Department of Defense Warrior Games and go on to compete at the Invictus Games. Eventually, I want to make the national wheelchair tennis team and represent the U.S. in the future at the Tennis World Cup and the 2020 Paralympics,” said Maddox.
The busy doctor still trains three days a week and has become an accomplished player, having competed in the United States Tennis Association Wheelchair Tennis Women’s A Division. She was ranked No. 1 last year and has learned to practice her serves while sitting on her bed.
“Apart from making Team Army and Invictus Games, my next goal is to start playing in the women’s open division of the wheelchair tennis professional circuit, which is governed by the International Tennis Federation.”
Maddox is thankful for the opportunity to have the Army Trials and Warrior Games where she will also compete in shooting and handcycling.
“As a veteran who works at a Veterans Administration hospital, I feel it’s important to show other veterans who I serve that it is important to stay active, resilient, and pursue what is important to you.”
This article was adapted from an original story by MaryTherese Griffin, U.S. Army Warrior Care and Transition.
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