As soon as she received her Invictus Games medal from Prince Harry, Sgt. Elizabeth Marks gave it back, and asked that it go to the medical team at Papworth Hospital that saved her life two years ago.
Marks, 25, joined the U.S. Army at the age of 17, and in 2010, sustained a serious hip injury that left her with no feeling in her left leg. In 2014, she was in London for the first Invictus Games, and became sick with a lung condition. The swimmer from Arizona spent 10 days in an induced coma, and went into respiratory distress syndrome. The team from Papworth in Cambridgeshire was sent down to her hospital in London, and provided the care she needed to get through her illness. “They absolutely saved my life and I can’t thank the UK enough,” Marks said.
During this year’s games in Orlando, Marks won all four swimming events she entered. She decided to give her 100 meter freestyle gold to the hospital, a gift that medical director Dr. Roger Hall told the BBC was “generous and unexpected,” adding, “Elizabeth’s fantastic achievement is a good example of how modern medicine can support all of us to not only lead a normal life, following life-threatening conditions, but go on to achieve truly amazing accomplishments.” Catherine Garcia