LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (Sept. 6, 2023) – After nearly two years of adversity, Lake Nona’s Abby Isham reunited with her team to compete in the Disney Labor Day Soccer Tournament, Sept 2-4 at Walt Disney World Resort. The games held at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex were Abby’s first full games with Orlando City Lake Nona Soccer School since 2021. Abby made her return in the team’s first game on Saturday with her family and friends cheering from the sidelines. Adding to her magical comeback, Abby scored a goal in the second game of the tournament, helping her team beat Miami Strikers FC, 6-0.
Abby, 16, has played soccer since she was four years old but, in 2021, she was diagnosed with hip dysplasia, requiring major surgery and months of rehabilitation. The recovery required Abby to be immobile for six weeks, but with determination and perseverance, she was able to return to soccer a few months later. Unfortunately, she was injured again during her first game back, , tearing the ACL in her right knee. Doctors also discovered her other hip needed surgery to correct dysplasia. Throughout the three major surgeries and months of rehab, Abby maintained her enduring spirit, attending every practice and even traveling with her team to show her support.
In July 2023, Abby underwent her fourth and final surgery to remove six screws in her hips. Nearly two years after her first diagnosis, she once again laced up her cleats and put on her purple jersey, on Sept. 2, 2023, returning to the field in the first game of the Disney Labor Day Soccer Tournament. Overall, Abby’s team finished the tournament with one win and two losses but also captured a more important victory by supporting their teammate throughout her recovery.
Abby says the experience has made her want to become a physical therapist to help other athletes. She also hopes to continue her soccer career in college, a dream that she has worked hard to hold onto.
More info on the Disney Labor Day Soccer Tournament, including complete results can be found here.