I’ve been blessed enough to meet and work with some pretty wonderful people in my lifetime, and Brian Thomas is at the top of that list. His story is truly amazing. Most sixteen year-old kids joyride in Daddy’s pickup. Not Brian. Instead, you find him out buzzing the football team in Daddy’s airplane. Flying is his life–it’s in his blood. Both of his parents are pilots. His older brother is in the Air Force. And he can’t imagine himself as anything but an aviator. That is, until the bleeding disorder, Idiopathic Thrombocytopenia Purpura, ITP for short, he’s battled since he was two years old sidelines him. After several failed chemotherapy treatments, Brian opts for a potentially disease-curing, but risky spleen removal. After more chemotherapy, he regains his flight status, but now he’s left with an altered immune system.
In April of 2009, Brian left his job at Duncan Aviation, where he is an aviation mechanic, to go home with what he thought was the flu. Four hours later, he is comatose and on life-support. His hands, feet, and face develop gangrene, and ten days later when he wakes up, he must face the prospect of becoming a quadruple amputee. Surgeons are able to save his left hand, but he faces a long road to recovery, and regaining his life.
Brian and his family open their hearts and souls to tell the story of how his illness and recovery has changed all of their lives. I think when you read their words, it will change yours, too.