Lucy's astonishing return from the brink

The history of Greek mythology represents the legendary stories of the Gods and Goddesses from Ancient Greek times, the stories of true heroes and warriors, who were a phenomenon of nature.

The chronicle of 23-year-old Lucy Adamopoulos, who currently dons the Adelaide United Women strip in the Westfield W-League, is a truly inspiring story, in which it mightily symbolises the definition of a warrior, enduring the harshest of circumstances life can throw.

The brave fighter in Lucy was destined to find the ball at her feet once again, as her story had an incredible ending, but her journey and life moving forward from her horrible tragedy has only just begun, and the experience of playing for Adelaide United has made it all worth-while.

In a short timeframe of four years, Adamopoulos battled through life-threatening circumstances where a serious car accident sustained her with severe injuries, and an incident where she was impaled on a garden stake, and placed in a medically-induced coma for two days, while surgeons operated several times on her pelvic region.

“The two incidents which abruptly stopped my footballing career, was firstly the head-on collision with a drunk driver in April 2012, which resulted in a fractured cheekbone, skull, back, and a few other injuries,” Adamopoulos said.

“It happened right at the beginning of the season with Adelaide Uni, and it pulled me out of playing, especially with a concussion and head problems, and at a young age at the time, it could have been a deal-breaker regarding my future footballing aspirations.

“Two years later, the second incident was where I fell off a decking, and resulted in being impaled by a wooden stake, and in a two-day coma, which was pretty big and I didn’t know the full extent of it as I was in that position, and I think the people around me were affected mostly, having to see me in that state, as I am normally quite outgoing and happy.

“I don’t know how I’m still here, and functioning 100%, which is crazy as so many things could have gone wrong, especially with the pelvic region of the body where there are so many important muscle groups, arteries and organs, I was so thankful to be okay.”

And what makes her story even more compelling, is her miraculous recovery, which was only in the space of a few months, giving the severity of injuries. She believes she lived out a fairy-tale in her return to the football field, and that she had been blessed with the guidance from the heavens.

“To the extent of the injury, I actually recovered quite quickly in about 2-3 months to get back into my first game, with rapid changes and being able to start to run slowly, but I had to build up again from the start,” Adamopoulos continued. “But it gave me that chance to be able to do everything correctly.

“That game was just a fairy tale, as I scored four goals for West Adelaide and we ended up winning 4-3, it was an incredible moment and as lucky as I already was, someone up there was definitely looking after me.

“I really could have been gone a long time ago, and I definitely don’t take life for granted, and try to be the best I can, because it could all be over tomorrow, it’s all unknown, so choose what you want to do in life and go for it, and if you don’t like something, change it.”

Debuting for Adelaide United Women against Canberra United last weekend, was one of her proudest moments to wear the colours and the support of her teammates has been everlasting, especially after suffering another setback which delayed her chance, but once again, making an invincible return.

“The weekend against Canberra United was huge for me, and the girls did get around me, which was fantastic, and it was really good to play with some of the local girls who I’ve known for a long time, but never played with up until now, and it was amazing to have that support.

“They all expressed kind words when my story was put out to the public and they’re such a great bunch of girls, they are in awe of what happened and I can just never explain the extent of it fully.

“You never really expect that to happen to somebody, let alone a teammate, so I think that makes it that bit sweeter.

“It didn’t help that two days after signing with Adelaide United, I was told I had a stress fracture in my shin, and was going to be in a moonboot for six weeks, which was really tough to comprehend, as I was on such a high, but that made me even stronger and realised how much I wanted it.

“It made my debut on the weekend so much sweeter, and I’m still buzzing from it.

“Getting the call to sign for Adelaide United, I was so overwhelmed, reading the email, and I’ve been playing football since I was six years old and obviously you have all these aspirations, and with all the setbacks I thought the door was closing quite quickly.

“Finding out I got selected, it has opened up a whole new level of opportunities and really reiterated how much I love the game, as determination, hard work and passion can really get you to where you dream to be.

 “I hope to continue to get stronger, step by step, and get more game time, and get that first win on the board with the team and grow together.

“I would love to continue on with Adelaide United next season, and my biggest aspiration would be to play overseas in China or Korea, and really get that experience, especially for the women’s game, but progression and learning in any form is enough for me.

“I’m just so happy to be able to put that Guernsey on, with the Adelaide United emblem and play, it meant the most to me, and not mattering if I had one minute on the pitch or a full game, it was just that moment to see exactly where I was at the time.

“The moment I stepped on the pitch was amazing, I am so thankful I got to experience that, and by sticking to what you want to achieve, it will just all be worth it in the end, although it takes a long time, it will eventually happen.

“Life will have good and bad moments, but it’s the way you adapt, and keep fighting, and that way you can say you have tried your absolute best, no matter what, in both life and football.”