Lucky’s dreams come true!
Paralysed on her left side from birth with cerebral palsy and diagnosed with early onset Parkinson’s disease at 12, Lakeisha Patterson has had anything but an easy life – just don’t tell her that!
The amazing young swimmer, nicknamed “Lucky” Patterson, won two gold medals last week at the Commonwealth Games and was applauded by fans and commentators who fell in love with her indomitable spirit and courage.
“I didn’t get here just through sheer luck. There’s been lots of hard work and sacrifices to get to where I am, but I’ve always been very lucky,” says Lakeisha, 19. “If there was a raffle at school, I usually won it, and if a bird is ggoing g to drop on anyone, it’ll be me!”
She won the 50m and 100m freestyle sprint events, an extraordinary achievement after years of hard work from “Lucky” who was also born with epilepsy.
“I’ve worked hard to defy the odds – you fall over, that just means you get right back up again,” she tells Woman’s Day, laughing as she jokes that with her nickname she “should probably buy more Lotto tickets”.
The integrated para-sport program for Gold Coast 2018 was the most extensive in Commonwealth Games history, allowing the team to compete alongside some of the world’s top sports stars.
“To be on the team with my heroes, and amongst everyone from across the world in the athlete’s village – it’s a dream come true,” says Lakeisha.
“I always knew my disability would be the making of me. I’ve only ever wanted to make my family and my country proud. Right now I feel like the luckiest girl alive!”
Looks more like work and skill than luck!