There are many situations in life, both good and bad, that shape us into the people we become. Some of these situations are great, such as getting married or having children, and easily become positive contributors to our lives. Others can be tragic and life changing. It is how we choose to cope with these circumstances that can most impact and shape us as individuals.
Many people face tragedies in life, but few families are able to triumph together. For the Jones family of four, one such tragedy happened on April 9, 1987.
Reggie and Wesley were out playing in the woods behind their house as most kids do. Their parents were inside the family home and unaware that the next few minutes would completely turn their whole world upside down and test their faith and family bond more than they could ever imagine.
The boys, along with several neighborhood friends, had constructed a tree house in some undeveloped woods about a mile behind their homes. When Reggie, Wesley, and two other friends got to the tree house that afternoon they noticed a new addition.
Some other kids had moved their zip line that had been hanging only about six feet off the ground, to the top of the tree house and now soared over twenty feet above the ground. Wesley, being the nine year old daredevil of the group, tried it first and slid down the line with no problems.
After an hour or so of tinkering around their tree house, the boys heard a loud bell ring and realized it was their mom calling them home to dinner. Reggie, who was the older and responsible brother at age twelve, knew that they had better hurry home or be in trouble.
Wesley insisted on going down the zip line one more time. As he jumped from the platform the rope snapped sending him headfirst to the ground twenty feet below.
In an instance, Wesley went from being a carefree kid, with no real cares in the world, to breaking his neck and becoming a quadriplegic.
April 9, 1987 was a definite defining point in the Jones family’s life. How they dealt with this tragedy would shape the rest of their lives. Many would have just collapsed and given up under these unimaginable circumstances.
With their world as they knew it crumbling down around them, they decided to strengthen their bond in each other and reinforce their relationship with God. They decided to triumph.
To say this was an easy undertaking would be untrue. Wesley spent a combined six months in Children’s Healthcare and Shepherd Center in Atlanta, Georgia. But he was not alone.
Both his parents and Reggie moved into the hospital to be at his side. Although sleeping in chairs and on cots was not ideal, they knew how important it was to keep the family unit together and strong.
Through hard work and God’s help, Wesley regained a great deal of feeling and movement throughout his body, but still remains confined to an electric wheelchair. The family has experienced many highs and lows in the years since that life changing day, all of which have helped shape them into the people they are today.
Their family bond and faith in God remains stronger than ever, and the brothers still share an unbreakable bond. Reggie and Wesley have always had a strong desire to want to give back and help others that have been through tragedies similar to their own.
This was the driving factor behind the formation of Triumph Over Tragedy Foundation.
People often seem to forget that when a child goes through a catastrophic injury or severe illness, they are unfortunately not the only ones affected. While they are the main focal point, rightly so, the entire family is trying to digest the situation as well.
To see your child, brother, or sister going through such distress can bring about intense feelings of helplessness. The family as a whole needs to be ministered to and, if you will, treated as well.
Physical impairments are easy for the average person to recognize, but the emotional scares are sometimes harder to see. The Jones family often reflects back on the tragedy they faced more than twenty years ago. They also distinctly recall how God has used different individuals to impact their lives in many different ways to allow them to triumph over immeasurable circumstances.
As the brothers began to think about how people had helped their family through such a difficult time, the vision for Triumph Over Tragedy Foundation became abundantly clear.
The Triumph Foundation’s mission is to support the family unit through biblical principles from the initial impact of a tragedy to the ongoing circumstances faced in the years to come.
The brothers bring very unique views to Triumph Over Tragedy Foundation, one as a victim and the other as a family member.
Who better to lend a helping hand to people going through a traumatic injury or illness than two brothers who have experienced a great deal of tragedy first hand.
With Reggie and Wesley’s drive and determination, Triumph Over Tragedy Foundation is sure to have a great impact on many families and help them to triumph over any tragedy they face. With hard work and most of all God’s help anything is possible in life.