"I lived the first 20 years of my life with a passion and lived the last 10 with a purpose."
~ Thomas Smith
I am in AWE of the depth of human spirit and strength found within my guest this week! Thomas Smith is a sought after motivational speaker, unwavering philanthropist, and a thriver beyond words being the first person in medical history to recover from THREE separate paralyzing injuries. Thomas is the most endearing spirit I have ever encountered and an angel on assignment who clearly had wings before he could even walk!
Raised in New England, Thomas was born with the will to excel and win which he applied to achieving success in hockey. “Growing up hockey was my identity and it was my gateway to do well in all facets of life.” After high school, his drive and passion for hockey led him to receive Division One invitations from prominent universities which ignited his drive to advance further in the sport. However, while at a practice in a Junior League, Thomas went into the boards with a paralyzing injury that most in the medical community called a miracle to recover from. With his career tragically cut short, Thomas describes the sheer determination he found to not only walk again, but skate again.
For most people the idea of being paralyzed even once is difficult to wrap their head around. But for Thomas, a second and third accident found him fighting each time. Listen in as Thomas describes a heart wrenching low point and the moment that made him not only pivot his life, but find his purpose while inspiring others.
October is “Disability Awareness” month. The Thomas E. Smith Foundation (TESF) serves as a beacon of hope within the paralysis community. Since its inception, TESF has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to victims of spinal cord injuries. In addition, Thomas continues to achieve and inspire through his history making accomplishments, all while reminding the world that, “If you have a dream or a goal, do not let anyone tell you what you can and cannot do.”