A University of Massachusetts – Lowell college junior as returned to the lacrosse field – two years after a moped accident that resulted in her losing her left leg.
When Noelle Lambert, 21, of Londonderry, New Hampshire, had to have her leg amputated in the summer of 2016, the first thing she asked was if she was still on the lacrosse team.
But according to her lacrosse coach, Carissa Medeiros, she wasn’t just on the team – she was the team.
Tragedy: Noelle Lambert (pictured center), 21, of Londonderry, New Hampshire, had to have her left leg amputated after a moped accident
Determined: But the 21-year-old college junior, pictured with her parents before her accident, didn’t let that stop her from returning to lacrosse
On July 30, 2016, the then 19-year-old Noelle rented a moped with her teammate and roommate Kelly Moran on Martha’s Vineyard, according to Lacrosse Magazine.
But Noelle lost control, veered left and hit the side of an oncoming dump truck.
Kelly had lacerations on her right leg, tore ligaments in her foot and ankle, a sprained knee and road rash on her arms and legs but Noelle’s leg had to be amputated above the knee.
Fortunately, someone driving behind Noelle stopped to help as bystanders called 911, which ended up saving the young woman’s life.
She said: ‘I had someone driving behind me and he basically saved my life because he took off his shirt and created a tourniquet if that didn’t happen, I probably would have bled out and not be here right now.
Support: After her amputation, Noelle (right) had support from family, friends and teammates
Teammates: Noelle and her friend and teammate, Kelly, who was on the moped with her during the accident
The motto: Following her surgery, Noelle made it her personal mission to run again and her motto even became Born to Run
‘I got to talk to my mom on the scene and I told her I’m okay. I probably said I was sorry a hundred times.’
‘I was totally conscious. Lacrosse was one of the first things I thought about because I knew I lost my leg right on the scene. I was terrified I wouldn’t be able to play again.’
But thanks to hard work, a positive attitude and a support system that came in the from of friends, teammates and family members including her uncle Vincent Lambert, who is a double amputee due to complications with diabetes, Noelle would once again be able to play the sport.
She said: ‘I wanted to have the image that I wasn’t going to let this define me. I don’t see myself as a leader on the field – what I want to see myself as is “If she can do it, I can do it.'”
Following surgery, Noelle made it her personal mission to run again and her motto even became Born to Run, which is also the name of a foundation she is starting to help fellow amputees, according to Lacrosse Magazine.
She said: ‘The name, to me, means that I was born to be an athlete, and now that I have such a challenging task ahead, it makes me think that I will never give up until I achieve the many goals that I have.’
But it wasn’t an easy process as Noelle had to first pass the UMass Lowell women’s lacrosse run test.
Immediately knew: Noelle in the hospital after her accident. She said that she immediately knew she had lost her leg
Team effort: Noelle, pictured scoring a goal, said that during her run test, the team came over to run the rest of the distance with her
She said: ‘The week before the run test, I was thinking to myself, “Okay, well, I can probably do half of it and then I’ll have to stop – not be able to finish it, or my running leg will give me chafing problems.” I had it in my head that I wasn’t going to finish it,’ she said.
But on the morning of her test on Thursday, September 7, 2017 – 404 days from her moped accident, she woke up knowing that she would make it across the finish line.
She told Inside Lacrosse: ‘The whole team – people would be done finishing their run test, and then half of the team would come over and run the rest with me. Kelly probably ran two fitness tests with me because she ran beside me the whole time. That in the back of my head, everyone cheering for me — it definitely got me through it.’
Kelly, her friend that was riding with her during the moped accident, added: ‘Even though she wasn’t able to run it like other people could, just the fact that she even finished it is pretty amazing. I think a lot of people were getting choked up after that because it was pretty awesome. She’s just incredible.’
But aside from her determination, the most amazing part was seeing her complete the test – something she couldn’t back when she was a freshman and had both legs.
Coach Carissa said: ‘She came in as a freshman with a full, able body, and she couldn’t finish the run test. For her to come back a year after her surgery and be able to do better than what she did as a freshman with two legs, that alone was emotional.’
Better: Noelle finished her run test, which is something she couldn’t do before her amputation
Not once: Noelle said that not once did someone tell her she wouldn’t be able to play lacrosse again
‘Let alone the fact that she just – the look on her face was so determined. It was pretty overwhelming for us. I had to walk away a little bit, and wipe some tears away. I was just so proud of her.’
After that, she ran in The Gauntlet, a timed run tests that consists of one mile, a half-mile, a quarter-mile and a half lap around the track.
Her prosthetist, Jason Lalla, who is also an amputee and has competed in the Paralympics, and her personal trainer, Kirstin Kochanek of Fortitude Health and Training, helped Lambert train for The Gauntlet.
Noelle said: ‘I was very fortunate in having someone that knew exactly what I was going through, to help me along the way. I want to be a 100 per cent hundred confident in playing, and will do whatever it takes to achieve this goal.’
She added: ‘It felt great to start running again. Never once, did someone tell me I wouldn’t be able to play again.’
Back at it: At her first game back on Saturday, Noelle excelled on the field and even scored a goal against Hartford
More work to do: Noelle said that she has a lot more work to do and that she’s not even close to where she wants to be
At her first game back on Saturday, Noelle excelled on the field and even scored a goal against Hartford. The UMass River Hawks won in a 16 -1 victory.
But even with the major accomplishment,, which Noelle described as a ‘really special moment,’ she said that she still has a lot of work to do if she wants to keep doing well.
‘Just getting back on the field was a great goal for me,’ she said. ‘I need to get better everyday, I still need to put in a lot of work – I’m not even close to where I want to be.’
Prior to her moped accident, Noelle was named to the America East All-Rookie Team as a consistent contributor to the second-year Division I program, which went 1-16 in 2016, according to Lacrosse Magazine.
Her freshman season, she tied for first on the team with 15 goals and was second in points (21) and assists (six), while also setting a program record for points in a single game in her second match with four goals and an assist.
And Noelle’s story isn’t the only moped accident to make headlines as new movie, The Miracle Season, featuring actress Helen Hunt tells the true story of the Iowa City West High School girls volleyball team, whose star player, Caroline Found died in a moped accident in August 2011.
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'I was terrified I wouldn't play again': College lacrosse star who lost her leg in a near-fatal moped accident makes a defiant return to the field two years later - with her prosthetic limb have 1601 words, post on www.dailymail.co.uk at April 11, 2018. This is cached page on Talk Vietnam. If you want remove this page, please contact us.