Forney Junior overcomes amputation to play football

FORNEY — Thomas Derrick was handed a disaster early in his life, but he never stopped working to overcome it all. That’s what makes him our Class Act of the Week.

When Thomas was just four years old, he experienced a life-altering accident.

“While I was playing I decided to go up to my grandfather, and my grandfather was mowing,” Thomas recounted. “And so I ran up behind my grandfather and he didn’t see me and I slipped underneath the lawnmower… and it severed my foot right there.”

Afterward, he had to completely re-learn how to walk, starting with a walker and then crutches.

“After the crutches, I got my prosthesis and it didn’t take me long,” Thomas said. “That same day I was running on it. I was on the go.”

And he’s been on the go ever since. Now a junior at Forney High, he’s a member of the football team, and he doesn’t let his amputated foot hold him back.

“I just work out and I run. I never really think about it,” said Thomas.

The only time it comes up is in equipment changes. Thomas is a two-position star at kicker and defensive end, and that means two different prostheses.

“So as defensive end, after I get through kicking, it could be a split-second just one kick and I have to be on the field again, so I have to go to the sideline and change over to my running one.”

So from a tragedy that threatened to completely hold him back, Thomas has formed an unbreakable outlook on life.

“In life, God puts you through trials and tribulations, but life goes on,” Thomas said. “You can’t just say, ‘I’m done.’ You have to push every single day. Everything goes through trials and tribulations but you need to do the best you can do to be the best person you can be.”

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