It was a day to celebrate the best of life to come.
In one unimaginable moment, my life was changed forever.
Life has certainly tossed me some lemons, but where there are lemons there is always a way to make a little lemonade. For me, lemonade comes in the form of maintaining my independence. Since my accident I have been in and out of nursing homes where the care cost me my legs, and almost my life.
For the past 10 years I have been able to maintain some independence (with care of course), in an apartment in Charlotte, NC. This independence, plus the love and support from a few that I now call family, has change my life.
There are many twists and turns in my story. I hope you will read it so you will understand the obstacles I have overcome. But to keep going I now need your help.
Because of the support needed to maintain my independent living, Word on the Street Ministries, a 501c3 organization, has taken on my cause making your donations tax deductible.
It’s through support from people like you that allow me to live life as my “normal”, and I am forever grateful.
Growing up, Tony had more than his share of difficult situations.
Childhood was spent moving through foster homes with little to no contact from his birth parents. With no real family or stability, Tony often wondered if he would ever enjoy a life of independence and sense of belonging.
In 1993, at the age of 20, things were looking up for Tony. He had joined a Job Training Partnership Act (JPTA) program and was getting his G.E.D. He had met someone special and felt for the first time that a normal life was possible.
On May 30, 1993, a day after completing the JPTA program and the test for his G.E.D., Tony and a friend took the day to celebrate by exploring the shore of the Dan River near the NC-VA state line. A day of celebrating his life to come, changed Tony’s life in the most unthinkable way possible.
Tony had been to the area many times. He was very familiar with the spot where a rope hung from a tree over the water, inviting those who happened along to enjoy a cool splash. He knew there was a deep hole in the riverbed beneath the rope and tree. As they swam and played in the area, Tony never touch the bottom. He had no reason to think the depth of the river bed might have changed.
Anticipating the thrill of the swing and the splash in the water, as he had done many times before, Tony climb the tree to the rope and launched himself to the river.
At that moment, after landing head first in about two feet of water, Tony Combs became a C-4 quadriplegic .