Doncaster mum of three and amputee competes in atheltics, swimming, wheelchair rugby and rowing at Invictus Games

Lisa Johnston from Doncaster is part of a 61-strong squad of wounded, injured and sick military personnel and veterans taking part in the international sporting competition the Invictus Games.

Friday, 8th April 2022, 3:03 pm

Lisa, aged 39, had her left leg amputated after suffering an injury during a routine army physical training session in 2014 and was diagnosed with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome.

She struggled to do basic things like hugging her children due to the fear of being hurt by them. Months of treatment and living in hope went by but nothing seemed to make a difference. The next step was amputation - whilst the operation gave Lisa the opportunity to hug her three boys again, life was difficult, and her confidence was affected.

Lisa will represent Team UK in four events – athletics, swimming, wheelchair rugby and rowing. Ninety one per cent will be competing at their first Invictus Games and were originally selected in October 2019. When the pandemic hit, it was shifted to 2021, but uncertainty forced a second postponement and the event will now take place from April 16 to 22.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Lisa competing and being cheered on by her supporters

She said: “Taking part in the Invictus Games is the next big chapter in my recovery. It also shows my children that by trying my hardest to do the best I can, even as an amputee, that no matter what life throws at you, you can overcome it.

"With hard work and determination, kindness, compassion and understanding, you can achieve whatever you put your mind to. Most of all, I want my children to be proud of me.”

Read More

Read More
Doncaster teen's cancer charity fitness challenge gets boost from DCLT

Her sons haven’t been able to join her at the Invictus Games training camps organised by Help for Heroes, so Adam, aged 15, Charlie, aged 10, and Ethan, aged nine, gave her a teddy called ‘Ted’ to remind her of their love and support – compete with its own prosthetic leg.

Getting set for a swim

“My two younger boys have never seen me run before so I can’t wait for them, and my husband, to see me cross the finish line on the athletics track,” added Lisa who is originally from Hertfordshire.

Competitors kept their fitness and spirits up during multiple lockdowns, by altering their routines to take on virtual training online, as well as getting back outdoors where restrictions allowed.

Having not seen each other in person since the start of 2020, the team, along with coaches and support staff, attended the first post-lockdown Invictus UK training camp, in November, and have continued to join weekend camps, provided by Help for Heroes. The military charity is responsible for the selection, training, and welfare of UK competitors.

Help for Heroes’ Hannah Lawton, who is chef de mission for Team UK, said: “These competitors are well-versed in taking on challenges though and I’m so proud of the commitment they’ve shown to the team, whether that’s in keeping up with training virtually, supporting their teammates or recognising when they need to step back and take a break.”

Athlete Lisa Johnstone

Invictus UK is delivered by a partnership comprising Help for Heroes, the Ministry of Defence, and the Royal British Legion.

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Nancy Fielder, editor.