"Inside Grady" had a story about Thomas in its most recent edition: http://www.gradyhealth.org/news/
Here's the article in PDF format:
I just spoke to Jim Sowell,
He said Thomas told him he has a book report due and asked his dad to please bring some materials from home so he could get to work on it.
Coming from a young man who was taken off the ventilator today and opened his eyes for the first time in more than a week, that is some good news!
Dear Scouts, Scouters and Friends of Thomas,
Since Thomas’ accident, I have had an opportunity to talk with many of the Scouts and adult leaders of our Troop. It is only natural that, during these conversations, we have talked about the vital role the outdoors plays in the Scouting program. For many boys, Scouting is the only activity they engage in which gets them into the natural outdoor environment. Many Scouts and Scouters have told me that over the years, it was the Scouting program which first taught them that they were capable of much more than they first thought. Baden Powell, the founder of the Boy Scouts calls the outdoors one of the Methods of Scouting. He meant that the outdoors is one of the key components of Scouting which helps our youth discover who they are, and aids them in their transition to manhood.
Troop 77 has always had a strong outdoor program, and we intend to continue this program in the future. We believe, as Baden Powell did over one hundred years ago, that there is something magical about the outdoors that has a profound effect on the development of the adolescent. Besides – the outdoors is really fun!
As we go through our lives, sometimes things happen to us or our friends. Some of those things are good, and some of those things are bad. This is a natural consequence of living our lives actively. And just as surely as eating nothing but hot dogs for breakfast, lunch and dinner is bad for us, so too is engaging in extremely risky behavior or activities. But on the other side, sitting alone in our room playing computer games all day long is an extremely unhealthy activity as well. We need to find a balance so that we can be actively engaged in living our lives, and at the same time, recognize that every activity we engage in has some risk associated with it.
In the Scouting world, we have a book called the Guide to Safe Scouting. This book represents the accumulated knowledge of over one hundred years of Scouting in the
While Thomas’ accident was very serious, and while we continue to pray for Thomas’ recovery, you should know that the Sowells encourage the Troop to continue its long tradition of running a strong and engaging outdoor program, and we intend to do just that.
“I wholeheartedly support the outdoor part of scouting.” “Thomas LOVES this aspect of scouts and will hopefully participate in it again.”
“Even when a facility doesn't require certain safety measures, the scouts always go the extra mile. Helmets for rafting and snow boarding aren't always common (and aren't required at the Nantahala nor at Cataloochee), but Troop 77 has always required the added protection. Scouts in general, and our troop in particular, is safer in so many ways than other, non-scouting programs.”
Yours in Scouting,
Scoutmaster – Troop 77
During my last two visits with Thomas, Jim has asked us to remember that Thomas was not the only one hurt on this ski trip.
Thomas' family asking that, while you continue to support Thomas with prayers of strength and recovery, that you include Franklin and Mr. Stockwell in your thoughts as well.
Yours in Scouting,
Scoutmaster – Troop 77
We are asking everyone to honor the wishes of the family by not calling, emailing, texting or visiting at this time. If you wish to write a note of concern to the family, you may drop it off at the church office and a clergy member will take it to them.
The Youth of Oak Grove UMC's Revolution Community would like for you to come and pray with them for Thomas.
"Thomas is our friend and is in need of our prayers for life and healing. His parents, Jim & Virginia, and his brother, Daniel, are family to us and they need our prayers of peace and comfort. Please join us on Wednesday, February 2 at 7:00 p.m. in the church Sanctuary for a Service of Prayer. This service will be a time of guided prayer for 20 - 30 minutes and then the sanctuary will remain open for a time of silent or small group prayer."
It is serious damage to Thomas' nerve endings that has him comatose for an undetermined period of time. While he is not in any immediate danger of internal bleeding, he has suffered a very devastating accident with an unknown outcome. The doctors have told Virginia and Jim that he could remain in a coma indefinitely. He is young and strong, which will help, and, of course, prayer will help most of all. We want to storm the gates of heaven for this family who means so much to us all. It is hoped Thomas will be moved to Grady Hospital in Atlanta later today. Unfortunately, latest word from Jim (11am) was that transfer has not been approved by their insurance carrier - Blue Cross/Blue Shield. They are in a holding pattern with medical transport and drivers ready.
As you may be aware, Thomas S. (Jim and Virginia’s youngest son) had an accident while snowboarding with the Scouts on Sunday morning. He is currently at Mission Hospital near the Biltmore in Ashville, North Carolina. The family is in the process of preparing to have him transported to Grady today. Since the accident he has not been conscious though he responds to stimulation. The physicians have implanted a monitoring device to track brain activity. Jim says that at this point the prognosis is good, but that there may be a long recovery period. Where ever you are at the moment, please share prayer for Thomas, his brother Daniel, Jim and Virginia. In the hours and days ahead, please continue to bathe Thomas, the family, and care providers in prayer that Thomas recovers fully and quickly from this head trauma. While your thoughts and prayer are encouraged, the family desires no phone calls during this period.
"Virginia has no way to update via FB or email. Here is the latest from Virgina:
Thanks for all the prayers! We are very pleased with Mission hospital and staff in Asheville. Thomas remains sedated and on a ventilator.
Of course I have been praying for the diagnosis of a concussion, but after meeting with the doctor just now it appears to be much more serious.
Thomas' condition is 'diffuse axonal shearing in both hemispheres and is likened to those who've been in a severe car crash.
Of course exact prognosis is currently unknown - it's just too early - but we've been told to prepare for a long term recovery. The hospital is preparing to transfer Thomas to Emory's spinal cord injury unit in Atlanta on Monday or as soon as possible.
Pray for Thomas, please."
We will post information here as it becomes available about Thomas on http://prayforthomas.blogspot.com