Your Neighbor: Meet Dr. Jamie Lunsford

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 29, 2021

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By Mandy Haggerson
For the Clemmons Courier

Dr. Jamie Lunsford grew up in Kissimmee, Florida, as the youngest of several brothers ensuring there was never a dull moment in her family. Tragedy struck Lunsford when she was just 10. Lunsford’s mom, Patty, was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. “I recall her sitting my brothers and I down and tried to explain it to us. Of course, as a child, you don’t completely understand the gravity of the situation at that moment in time,” recalls Lunsford. “I couldn’t exactly wrap my head around it. Although, I have circled back through what she must have been feeling as a parent at that time. It was such a defining moment in my life to lose my mom who was so loving, caring, and just good.”

One of the ways Lunsford dealt with the loss of her mother at such a tender age of 10 was through running. “Running helped me clear my mind. I really got into it when I was in middle school and continued through high school with both track and cross country,” mentions Lunsford. Running also helped as Lunsford’s family moved to Murphy when she was 12 with making new friends. “My dad had remarried, and both he and my stepmom had really liked that area,” says Lunsford.

Lunsford had liked North Carolina after she and her family moved. So much so that she decided to go to school at High Point University. “I was also looking at Appalachian State University, but when I got a call from the coach at High Point University and visited the campus, I knew that was where I needed to be. I liked the feel of it there, the coach was fantastic, and my teammates were very supportive. I wasn’t even dead set on running at that point but after my visit I was. It was one of the best decisions of my life,” reflects Lunsford who ran the 5,000- and 10,000-meter while in college.

During Lunsford’s college years, she also met her future husband, Bryan, after the summer of her freshman year. “We met through mutual friends when we were back home visiting our families. He is also from Murphy but was attending the University of North Carolina. We dated all throughout college once we met,” reflects Lunsford.

Lunsford also knew early on that she wanted to study exercise science and had thought about sports medicine as a possible career choice. However, that wasn’t an option as a college athlete. With her degree, Lunsford planned to pursue physical therapy for her profession. After graduating from High Point University, Lunsford chose to attend Western Carolina University for her master’s in physical therapy. “During graduate school, Bryan and I were also married in 2006,” remembers Lunsford. Then, Lunsford earned her doctorate from Shenandoah University.

Lunsford gained valuable experience working at Murphy Medical Center (now Erlanger Western Carolina Hospital) for several years before moving to Hayesville where she and Bryan purchased their first home. “In 2011, we moved to Clemmons for Bryan’s job, and have been here ever since,” says Lunsford.

Lunsford continued working as a physical therapist. Initially, Lunsford began working at War Eagle Rehabilitative Services, and then moved over to Davie County Home Health (now Well Care Home Health).

Lunsford enjoys helping her patients and has also relished the role she earned as mom in 2014 with her firstborn and daughter, Elin. The Lunsford family welcomed son, Dylan, in 2018. “These days we spend going to our children’s activities or trying to do something active outdoors. Since college I run a bit more intermittently. I did my first half marathon a year ago which was my first race since the kids were born. We like to take the kids skiing or hiking, and they’ve been camping too,” says Lunsford. She enjoys being able to share with her family the benefits of fitness that helped her during her toughest times as a child.