Imagine this horrific scene, if you can…
It’s a beautiful mid-August summer day. The sky is clear blue, not a cloud in sight. The water is a magnificent turquoise blue, sparkling from sunlight.
The air is calm, hot and sticky, as your son jumps off the back of the boat.
As you glance back to watch him, the smile on your face quickly disappears.
The beautiful water has quickly turned to red from blood. Your son is screaming.
You realize the boat’s wake has violently pulled your son into the razor-sharp, whirling propellers.
At first, you think you are seeing things, this can’t be happening – it’s not real. But it is.
Would you know what to do? Could you handle the stress, the pressure?
Well, luckily for Jordan Thomas – his parents are doctors, and they could.
Perhaps it's best if you hear it in his own words:
If this story doesn't bring a tear to your eye, you may not be human.
Let’s take a trip back to 2005 and head to the warm Florida Keys waters…
At the time Jordan, who was captain of his high school's golf team, was 16 when the accident happened.
As he put it, “It was a beautiful day, and we were going to go scuba diving… I looked down - my black fins were gone, and all I saw was red just everywhere... But I had this unbelievable calmness over my body."
His parents, both doctors from Chattanooga, Tennessee, knew exactly what to do.
"All of a sudden, my 16-year old, happy-go-lucky captain of the golf team was potentially dying," said Dr. Liz Kennedy-Thomas.
Jordan was sent to the Ryder Trauma Center in Miami where he underwent 3 surgeries. Losing both of his legs from the calf down. He spent two weeks in the hospital and returned home for rehab.
In 2007, he graduated from the McCallie School in Chattanooga, Tennessee. There he was a member of the golf and bowling teams.
While in rehab he set a goal to rejoin his teammates for his senior year.
And get this, he did!
Of course, the story doesn’t end there.
You see, while Jordan was in the hospital – something incredible happened.
He realized that there are hundreds, even thousands, of kids who would never be able to play golf, bowl or do whatever it is they enjoy doing because they don’t have enough money.
Enough money to pay for rehabilitation, prosthetics, or the surgeries they need to be able to improve and cope with life better.
In particular, there was one boy he met in the hospital that had a tremendous impact on what he would decide to devote a good portion of his life to.
His name is Larry (no relation to yours truly).
Larry was severely burned and recovering in the Trauma Rehabilitation Unit. But he didn’t have the financial resources to continue his rehabilitation after discharge.
Even worse, Larry was placed on a waiting list to go to a foster home - his parents had abandoned him.
As Jordan put it, "I just remember seeing so many kids who didn't have parents, didn't have health care… I just knew that the future was grim for them."
At that moment, Jordan realized how much loving support he received during his recovery. And how fortunate he was that his parents had the resources to pay for $24,000 prosthetic legs so he could play golf again.
With that in mind, he established the Jordan Thomas Foundation.
The goal of JTF: To Rebuild Children After Traumatic Injury
So how is the Foundation doing these days?
Well, the folks at CNN think the Foundation is doing amazing work. That's why Jordan Thomas was selected as one of CNN’s Top Ten Heroes for 2009.
That should give you a bit of insight as to the incredible work this young man, he's now 20, is doing.
Today, Jordan is a junior at the College of Charleston, and his Jordan Thomas Foundation is going strong. He’s raised over $400,000 to help children. He’s done this through the sale of bracelets, BBQ’s and a charity golf tournament. INCREDIBLE!
Indeed, Jordan is an incredible young man. I encourage you to read the stories of the beneficiaries who he has helped. If these little stories don't inspire you to donate at least a few dollars to this great foundation - again, you may not be human.
To find out more about the children Jordan is helping, the Foundation itself, or more importantly to DONATE (hint, hint) – just click here now!