TYLER -- It was just a normal day on the tennis court for Claire Fisher. The Robert E. Lee all-district tennis star was competing in the regional finals, for a chance to compete in the state tournament. She was facing a rival from Longview when she started feeling tightness in her chest.
"My breathing starts getting super dramatic in haling exhaling super hard and then it dramatically slowly gets worse, so finally at the end of the first set she walks over to me and asks can you finish and I was like I can't and instantly everything went black," says Fisher.
This wasn't the first time an incident like this happened, however this time it took a different turn.
"Next thing I know I'm on the side of the court and I was sitting down and there were people surrounding me lights oh my god are you ok and so they gave 5 minutes to recover from what happened and I just couldn't finish," explains Fisher.
It was a devastating loss knowing that she couldn't make it to state. For head tennis coach Charles Sizemore witnessing this event was shocking.
"Just getting her back getting her breath back and just concern for her health we really weren't thinking about tennis at that point she was just having a hard time breathing and we didn't really know what was going on just trying to get the paramedics out," explains Sizemore.
"My initial reaction was that it's over I can't get back up this is my second round going to regionals and I just can't get out of regionals it was very devastating," says Fisher
"It's just terrifying you don't ever want to see a child especially go down it mean it's just it's just terrifying," says Sizemore.
Claire would later go to her doctor, who at first diagnosed her with asthma, but then referred her to a specialist in Dallas to have another consultation Fisher was diagnosed with Vocal Cord Dysfunction. VCD happens when the vocal cords don't open correctly, which can tighten the airways and make breathing difficult. Since there are only a few ways to treat VCD. Claire utilizes different breathing techniques to make sure she's ready for the competition.
"I check myself after every point this was ok this is what I need to do this is how I relax and did this, making sure I'm calm and ready to go," says Fisher.
For coach Sizemore her presence on and off the court can't be replaced.
"Claire is like a mom to the team the whole pretty much looks up to Claire as far as a player she's one of a kind."
Even though this is something Claire will live with, her condition doesn't hold her back.
"It's mentally just to overcome the whole I have VCD, I mean have the mentality like I'm going to do it, I'm not going to give up even if it's the smallest thing or the biggest thing," says Fisher.