Updated 6:45 pm
When Noelle Lambert returned to Martha’s Vineyard last November to thank Oak Bluffs EMTs and paramedics for saving her life after she lost her leg in a horrific moped accident in July 2016, she wore her UMass Lowell lacrosse jacket, with her number 20 on the sleeve.
Even though she’d broken her arm after tripping on her prosthetic leg, the ebullient Lambert said she was determined to get back on the lacrosse field this spring.
This past Saturday at Cushing Field in Lowell, Lambert not only returned to Division 1 lacrosse, but scored a goal in the River Hawks 16-1 victory over Hartford University.
“It was an indescribable feeling,” she told The Times. “Watching the video, my teammates were equally if not more excited than I was. To have that support really got me to this goal, truly.”
Her comeback has been hard-earned. Lambert said she works out with the assistant coach, Carly O’Connell, before and after practices. “Stickwork, footwork, and on my mindset,” she said. “I really think that helped me feel more comfortable on the field. I’m nowhere close to where I want to be, I still have so much work to do, but I’m just keeping it day by day.”
Lambert received a waterproof prosthetic through the Heather Abbott Foundation. Abbott, a victim in the Boston Marathon bombings, started the foundation after she became an amputee, and discovered the high cost of prosthetic devices, which are oftentimes not covered by health insurance.
This Friday, the Red Sox will be honoring the Heather Abbott Foundation at Fenway, and Lambert will be there, maybe on center stage. “I just heard today I might be throwing the first pitch out,” she said. “I don’t really know. I thought it was probably something I should know so I could practice. I was thinking about taking my lacrosse stick.”
As she did in November, Lambert praised the Oak Bluffs EMS paramedics and EMTs. “None of this would have been possible without the first responders on Martha’s Vineyard,” she said. “I owe them so much.”
Updated to include comments from Noelle Lambert.