An outpouring of support: Family touched by generosity

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MONTROSE, Colo (KKCO) Tim Thomas' son Tommy's life was changed forever after a horrific accident, leaving his family to pick up the pieces of the past, but hold out hope for a better future. A charity event was organized Sunday afternoon to support the grieving family.

On Oct. 5, 14-year-old Tommy Thomas was riding his bike with a friend on a lonely Olathe road.

"I unfortunately got there the same time as the ambulance," recalled Timothy Mark Thomas, Tommy's father.

Suddenly Tommy's world was forever changed. "His shoes were knocked off him, that's when the nightmare started," lamented Timothy.

Tommy smashed into a cattle truck.

"We were crossing the highway, and I hear a thump, and when I look back, he's laying on the ground," remembered Clayton Ochs, Tommy's friend who was there when the accident happened as the two teens were riding their bikes.

Tommy now lies in a Denver Children's Hospital bed with severe brain damage.

"They still haven't put his scalp back together, and he's got to learn everything all over again," said Timothy.

Timothy is a single father who can't afford to visit his son as often as he'd like to.

"I still think his forward progression hurts me, but I'm not the point; as long as he keeps progressing," said Timothy.

But Timothy feels blessed by the outpouring of community support.

"Strangers come off the street and give you money, which makes me cry as much as the whole thing with Tommy. It's touching to see what strangers will do for you," said Timothy.

Niko's Tavern in Montrose held a charity event Sunday to help pay for Tommy's recovery and to provide funds for his family to visit him.

"My band and I and Julie (event organizer), we threw the benefit. Niko's allowed us to put it on here. We have raffle prizes, potluck dinner, live music. All the proceeds will go directly to Tom and Tim, the father and grandfather of little Tommy Thomas," said Kenny Brent with the Kenny Brent and the Texas Express band, who performed at the charity fundraiser.

But Tommy's family remains stoic and optimistic. "I see it as, you know, he just hit a bump in life and is just going back to the beginning," said Timothy Mark Thomas Jr., 17, Tommy's older brother. And while starting over will be a challenge, the Thomas family-- with the help of the entire community-- looks forward to embracing it.

Several local businesses made donations for Sunday's charity raffle.

The driver of the truck that hit Tommy wasn't cited, and no charges were filed. A fund has been set up under Tommy Thomas. Donations to the family can be made at any Bank of Colorado Branch.

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