A man who lost both legs in a boating accident has turned what he learned from that traumatic event into a life's mission to help others; now he's setting his sights on Boston.
Jordan Thomas was only 16 when impact with a propeller cost him both his legs below the knee. After the accident, Jordan was grateful to be alive and determined not to waste the gift of life.
"I recognized that there were a lot of scenarios where it didn't turn out as well as it did. So I always have a tremendous amount of gratitude and I always wanted to make the most out of the opportunity that I had been given," said Jordan in an appearance on KIRO Radio's Ron & Don Show.
Determined to get back to the things he loved, Jordan was up on his prosthetics about a month and a half after being injured.
"I was so thrilled to just be upright again that the first second I put them on, it was like alright let's get to work," says Jordan. "It was really slow initially. It was really slow. It was literally a step at a time, but I was so determined to do it."
Without his prosthetics he says it's hard to see how he could have gone on to accomplish all the things he has today. Jordan is in college and he's returned to playing golf. He's also launched the Jordan Thomas Foundation, dedicated to providing prosthetics to those who need them.
Jordan explains to Ron and Don that many insurance companies don't provide enough to cover the full prosthetics need for an amputee. Jordan's prosthetics are around $18,000 and he says it's something that has to be swapped out every couple of years like shoes, especially for growing children.
"[Insurance companies] provide one prosthetic for a lifetime, which is like giving a kid a pair of shoes when he's six and expecting him to wear them until he's 18," says Jordan. "It just doesn't make much sense."
"The thing that we do is we provide prosthetics for kids whenever we pick them up, say age two or three, and we help them all the way until they're an adult. So the family never has to worry about the financial burden," says Jordan.
"We allocate about $100,000 per kid, so it's really, really costly, but it's something that we make the commitment, so we're going to honor that commitment."
Jordan's foundation is also trying to change legislation to make sure kids have the access to the prosthetics they need.
After hearing of all those with injuries and lost limbs from the Boston bombings, Jordan instantly knew he wanted to help. After he graduates from college in two weeks, Jordan is making a trip to Boston where he plans to visit with every amputee from the tragedy.
"One of the greatest pleasures that I have in my life is to be able to talk to amputees that are new amputees and to tell them, 'hey your life is not over. There's so much more out there just waiting on you if you're willing to put the work and effort into it.'"
Ron and Don were so inspired by Jordan's efforts that they wanted to help. Knowing the power of their listeners, they asked Jordan to find someone they could help.
"When you go to Boston I want you to find somebody that we can adopt here in Seattle, whether it be a child, whether it be an adult, whoever it is, I want you to find someone for us to adopt that needs our help," Don told Jordan. "We're going to raise all kinds of dough for you."
Jordan was fired up with the offer and promised to find a person for the Ron & Don Nation to help. Keep listening to the Ron & Don Show for updates on the mission. We expect to hear from Jordan in two weeks. Learn more about the Jordan Thomas Foundation here.