Lisa Doll was 4-1/2 years old when she slipped out of her house after breakfast to play. Her father was busy mowing the lawn at their Rochester, Michigan, home and didn’t notice Lisa was out in the yard. Lisa entertained herself, skipping down the sidewalk while her father made several passes with his riding mower. As he backed up the mower to make another pass, she slipped on the wet grass clippings, and her left leg was caught under the blades as she fell.
The damage to her leg was extensive, requiring more than 25 reconstructive surgeries throughout Lisa’s childhood and adolescence. The goal of the surgeries was to keep her walking. The surgeries were successful in allowing Lisa to walk, but she couldn’t bend her leg because her kneecap was gone. Further, the injuries to her leg from the accident left her with drop foot, as well as persistent pain that would not be addressed until well into her adulthood.
Nevertheless, Lisa remained active. “I tried to do what most other kids and young adults do. I rode a bicycle, rode snowmobiles, went swimming in the river where we lived. It was a very nice childhood, even though I had this injury to my leg,” she said.
In pursuit of a “normal” life, Lisa enrolled at Northwestern Community College and earned her commercial art degree. In 1990, Lisa married and moved with her new husband to Arkansas to support her husband’s family’s business. Her daughter was born two years later. Over the next few years, Lisa’s young family moved frequently as her husband pursued various business opportunities.
Lisa and her husband divorced in 2003, and she returned to northern Michigan. It was a fresh start in a small community where she would raise her daughter. There she met Rick, her current life partner, and they bought a house together. Life was better!