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On September 13, 2016, two weeks before competing in his first Iron Man triathlon, Lisle Adams was rear-ended on a busy stretch of New Circle Road in Lexington, KY. After pulling to the shoulder and getting out to assess the damage, he was then struck by an impaired driver’s truck pinning him against his own vehicle. As can be expected, he sustained life-threatening injuries, including six breaks in his pelvis, a compound fracture in his femur and extensive soft tissue damage to his lower leg. His first two weeks in the hospital included, 11 blood transfusions and 10 separate surgeries. Lisle is anticipating the eventual use of donor tendons to repair his ACL and PCL ligaments. His doctors were skeptical about his recovery potential. But now one year and countless hours of physical therapy later, he's getting ready to compete in his first run since the accident, the Gift of Life 5k benefiting Trust for Life, an organization whose mission is to educate Kentuckians about life-saving organ donation. Throughout Lisle's entire journey he has maintained his love of life and family and reinforced an already positive attitude in the face of overwhelming odds. His competitive nature has fueled his rehabilitation and served as an inspiration to all who are fortunate enough to know him. Lisle is the definition of a Survivor, both mentally and physically. More on Lisle's story from local media coverage:

Lisle has an unwavering spirit and incredible drive. I believe his personal mission is best summarized by a quote he delivered in an interview with a local news station covering his story, “Every day when I wake up, I can make the decision to work to get better or sit here and stay the same and get worse,” he said. “I have so many people rooting for me. Even though it hurts and somedays I don’t want to, I can, so I will work hard to get better. I know just how fortunate I am and I don’t want to waste that opportunity.”

Lisle's journey to recovery has been nothing short of miraculous. But his progress has been a result of countless hours of hard work, often painful physical therapy and mental fortitude that few possess. He recognizes how blessed he is to have such a supportive network of family and friends and is motivated to share his story to inspire others. He also maintains a blog called Titanium Man that has chronicled his journey through the good and the bad this past year. He currently serves as the Chairperson for the Gift of Life race and uses his business, media and local community connections to help promote the event and increase awareness of Trust for Life. 100% of donations from the event will provide support for organ transplant recipients and help continue the organization's mission to educate Kentuckians about organ donation and encourage them to register as donors.

There is so much I admire about Lisle. Not only has he been an amazing family friend for almost 30 years, but he's also an incredible husband, son, brother, and uncle. He's also a respected entrepreneur in the Lexington community through his work with Shuffle Bean Coffee. But it's who Lisle is at his core that makes him most deserving of this award. He is compassionate, loving, determined, courageous and resilient against unimaginable adversity. Through his entire ordeal, which he still lives with on daily basis, he has never lost his optimistic outlook on life and I think that's rare and admirable. In fact, the day Lisle was hit and laying on stretcher in the Emergency Dept, his trauma team was testing the sensation he had in his affected leg. As wiggling fingers approached his inner thigh to see what exactly he was able to feel he blurted out, “Hey! I’m a married man!” followed by his million dollar grin. Even in the thick of his pain and uncertainty for the future, he still offered his humor to lighten the mood. One of the many, many things his wife loves about him in particular.

The KY Circuit Court’s Trust for Life’s mission is to inform, educate, and encourage Kentuckians to register as organ and tissue donors to save lives. By receiving the donation the Trust would conduct regional training days for Circuit Clerk employees and community members in order to learn more about the mission, share the message, and to make an impact on saving lives. In addition, the donation would directly help donor families and recipients by providing Aftercare, grief support, and recognition ceremonies for donor families as well as assisting with medication, transportation, and other needs for organ recipients in financial crisis.  

You never know when someone you love is going to need a life-saving organ donation. Lisle's ordeal has been eye-opening and inspiring to so many people, not only as a reminder to not take your loved ones for granted, but also about the life-saving power of organ/tissue donors.

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