The Jordan Thomas Foundation

Taking a stand so others can walk.

“My biggest hope is that it doesn’t take an accident like mine for everyone to realize the joy of helping those in need.”
-Jordan Thomas

A Thriving Foundation was created in 2006 with a mission to provide prostheses for children of traumatic injury and limb loss was just the beginning for Jordan Thomas.

His family, friends, and many volunteers work with him every year to support this mission by creating  events that generate upwards of $100,000 – enough to provide for one or two more children through the age of 18, their growth years. Jordan actively serves on this event committee and as President of the Board of Directors to assure that each dollar is stewarded well and each recipient receives the prostheses that they need. He is a true, devoted volunteer, often calling in from his business endeavors around the globe to be included in important decisions and to offer his suggestions and guidance.

Expanding his outreach and influence with great courage and devotion, Jordan travels around the world to speak about health care coverage for amputees. His travels have taken him to Dubai, Africa, Europe, and places like The Air Force Academy and Capital Hill.  Jordan formed a partnership in Haiti which provided limbs to victims of the earthquake after receiving emails from around the world, asking him to lead the way for children in need. But most importantly, he mentors and encourages each recipient and their family, serving as a volunteer.

Jordan’s Story

We all have defining moments in our lives. But not everyone’s defining moments impact the entire world.

Or, at least… the world of many.

Prior to July 2005, Jordan Thomas was a fairly typical 16-year old. A happy-go-lucky attitude, good student, captain of the golf team, and future as bright as the sun’s rays shimmering off the ocean’s advancing waves on that fateful afternoon. A day of scuba diving. That was the plan. Jordan and his parents unlatched themselves from their responsibilities back in Chattanooga, Tennessee and whisked themselves away for some family time on the blue. After some time in the boat, Jordan decided to take a dive into the cool water. This is where “Plan B” began for Jordan Thomas. And life is all about how you handle Plan B.

Jordan was no match for the commanding force of the oceans waves, the boat’s viciously sharp propellers, and the wake that sucked him into the spinning knives – taking his legs from his body. Some might say that the “forces that be” orchestrated against this cheerful young man at this moment in time. However, this is the precise moment when Jordan transcended the typical.

“…I had this unbelievable calmness over my body.” Jordan describes.

Somewhere inside he already knew that whatever trajectory his life was now on, wasn’t going to require the things he planned, but something newly discovered from the fire that had just been lit in his soul as his mother worked to block the blood flow while his father swiftly and urgently drove the boat to shore.

During the following two weeks, Jordan underwent several surgeries, resulting in the bilateral transtibial amputation of his legs – or in layman’s terms: he lost both legs from the mid-calf down. This seemingly devastating news may have understandably resulted in lingering in the hospital bed reflecting on “things lost in the accident” for most people. But not for Jordan Thomas. This young man turned negativity into motivation and began his rounds in the hospital visiting other amputees. He quickly discovered how fortunate he was to have steady finances – and most importantly: the unshakable support of his parents, family, and friends. At the same time, it became obvious that most children were… unfortunate.

“I just remember seeing so many kids who didn’t have parents, didn’t have health care,” he said. “I just knew that the future was grim for them.”

As Jordan was fitted with the top-of-the-line prosthetics to the tune of $24,000., he knew in his heart he couldn’t return to the golf links, school, or life… unless he took as many kids with him as he could. With the knowledge that most health insurance plans only cover a small fraction prosthetic limbs, and children will need new ones as they grow, the Jordan Thomas Foundation started right there in the hospital. He began by asking his family to give a donation to help others, but ultimately, with their support, Jordan used the fire in his soul to launch a fundraising foundation to provide life-changing prosthetics to children in need. Since 2006, Jordan has garnered worldwide attention and recognition  by being the recipient of The National Courage Award, The International Youth in Philanthropy Award, and being named one of CNN’s Top 10 Heroes in 2009. He is a beacon of light to children and their families, blazing a path of hope, showing that life is all about how you handle Plan B.

More on Jordan Thomas

The mission of The Jordan Thomas Foundation is to provide children affected by limb loss with the prostheses they need throughout childhood and adolescence and serves as a caring resource, advocate and support system for the children and their families.

Our primary focus as a non-profit organization is to be accountable and transparent as we fulfill our mission. It’s our donors who propel our success, which in turn, “change the world” for each and every child we serve. We provide detailed reports bi-annually in order to show our donors exactly how their funds were used. Thanks to our fundamental donor family covering the foundation’s administrative costs, 100% of gifts go to benefit children.  The foundation estimates that it will need $100,000-$120,000 for each recipient to provide them with prostheses through age 18.  We like to have most of these funds in the bank before we choose a new recipient as part of good stewardship practices. We are very fortunate in the fact that we have an extremely committed and experienced Board to help us with every detail required to achieve growth and success.

The Jordan Thomas Foundation Board Members:

Jordan Thomas, President
Victor Thomas, M.D. Vice President
Susan E. Rich, Esq. Secretary
William R. Russell, CPA, Treasurer
Lizbeth Kennedy Thomas, M.D.
Ken Jayne
Alison Lebovitz
Bob Main
Linly Mason
Jim Rogers
Larry Hill
Caroline Walker

“Our board consists of 12 active members who are well-respected in their professional fields and they all contribute in so many ways to make this foundation viable, accountable, and worthy of donations and who oversee the care of each of our recipients.”

-Jordan Thomas