State Bar of Georgia
State Bar of Georgia

Athens, Georgia

From Amputee to World Record Setter

Jarryd Wallace's Story (1-minute) from State Bar of Georgia on Vimeo.

Jarryd Wallace has been a competitive athlete all his life. In Georgia high school competition, he won the State Championship in not one, but two, middle distance track events. While training, he developed a pain in his right shin, and was diagnosed with Exertional Compartment Syndrome, a condition that while not common, is routinely relieved through surgery.

Things did not go as planned. There were complications stemming from the surgery. After multiple attempts at correction, Jarryd was told that it was not a matter of ‘if’ but ‘when’ his leg would require amputation. How could this have happened? Jarryd grew depressed and looked to drugs and alcohol for answers.

Jim Matthews, an attorney who knew the family, felt something about Jarryd’s story was not being told, and after consulting with experts in the field was able to get to the heart of the case and realize a settlement that would give Jarryd back his life as a competitive athlete. Perhaps equally important, he put Jarryd with the best possible doctors.

“My dreams were over. He gave me a chance at a new dream,” Jarryd says of his attorney. Literally the day after the amputation of his right leg from the knee down, Jarryd wrote a letter to the head of the U.S. Paralympic team and said, “I will be with the team in London in 2012.” He was. And also in 2016 in Rio.

In 2013, Jarryd set two world sprint records at the World Paralympic Championships. As Jarryd puts it, “My lawyer made my second run at life possible.” Jarryd’s not slowing down. Recently married, Jarryd is a very hard man to keep up with.

About Jim Matthews, Jarryd's Lawyer

Jim Matthews

Jim Matthews is a member of the firm, Blasingame, Burch, Garrard & Ashley, P.C., practicing in the Athens, Georgia, area, specializing in Plaintiff’s Personal Injury and Business litigation. Jim was drawn to Jarryd’s case in part by “Jarryd’s and his parents’ integrity and Jarryd’s wanting to turn a negative into a positive. I told the Wallaces honestly that I do not have a ‘win at all costs’ approach. I will not be anything less than completely honest with the other side and with the court and that essentially, the facts will speak for themselves. They agreed. Hard work and an honest presentation of the facts won the day. I am so proud that Jarryd persevered and became a Paralympic Champion and that I played a small role in that.“

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