I grew upon a 100-acre farm in rural South Georgia in a Christian home/environment, always attending Church with a very wonderful loving, giving, and athletic family. My mother was a P.E. teacher for over 30 years; my father was an incredible football player whose team won 5 straight State Championships in a row. As a 12 year old kid I journaled that one day when I was older I wanted to be in athletics ministering to and helping people, traveling with my family and friends making good living. I grew into a decent athlete lettering in 2 sports 3 years in a row and in another one 4 years in a row receiving offers from small colleges to play in basketball or run track. The best offer came from a larger school in Georgia which I accepted.
Note worthy incidents:
1. 1st year college, fall 1983 at West Georgia University in Carrollton, Ga. running track for WGU. Got married fall 1983. Wife gets pregnant early February 1984. Has son early November 1984.
2. 1985 spring – WGU running from Somerset Apts. down the by-pass with knee injury (tibia band syndrome). Had been getting cortisone shots, which helped a little. I continued to train and run despite the discomfort. I ran and prayed, angry at the pain. The more it hurt; the angrier I got at the pain; the harder I ran, and the more I prayed until all of a sudden the pain and discomfort just went away (amazing).
3. Monday December 3rd 1985, I run my best time ever in the 800 meters and I also run it back to back with an even better time, times good enough to qualify me for Nationals during the up coming indoor season (which was only 4 weeks away).
4. I was traveling a deserted 2-lane road back in 1985 on Hwy. 61 going from Fulton Industrial Ave. in Atlanta to Carrollton, fell asleep, having a car accident running 130 feet down a ravine off the road into the woods and kudzu vines Wednesday morning around 5:45 a.m. December 5th, 1985.
5. 1st, being found that far down off the road was miraculous. 6. Then the person who found me was a Doctor on his way to work around 6 a.m.
7. The temperature was cool which kept me from bleeding to death (another blessing).
8. Getting me out of the vehicle; it took 2 wreckers and the Jaws of Life a little over but approximately 2 hours to get me out due my body being tangled up in the engine wrapped around a tree inside the truck.
9. Once the pressure was released (separating my body from the wreckage) it was another blessing that they were able to revive me.
Truck Pictures after being pulled apart
10. Parents were reached and informed of the accident, they were told not rush since it was most likely I would be dead by the time they made it.
11. Over the next many hours many prophetic words were spoken over me from all over the country (my family put me on the National Prayer Chain) about my survival.
12. I was frozen (packed in ice) and given frozen Plasma. This was done to control bleeding, I had so many holes and they could not seem to contain the bleeding any other way. I still to this day do not get how they can turn you into a human popsicle like that and you survive.
13. Wife was informed that my left leg must be amputated, and that they were still unsure about the right leg. I Made it through the amputation.
14. Right leg was repaired for the most part after discussion of whether it would function properly again, rods pins, and screws put in, placed in traction.
15. Survived the initial 12 straight through hours of surgery.
16. Family had arrived and with much persistence they were allowed to see me. Dad said I was unrecognizable. He commented that I looked like a big blue swollen seal shivering from the cold.
17. At my parent’s insistence, Pastors were allowed to see me and to pray for me.
18. Stability shaky and in dire need of more intense medical treatment at a facility equipped to handle this traumatic type of injury.
19. An Airlift needed, but I was not stable enough to make the flight.
20. Despite the likelihood of not surviving it, the choice was made to take the Life-flight since the odds against me not taking the flight were worse.
21. 1 of 5 top U.S. Trauma Centers just happened to be in Augusta, just a few hours drive away but only minutes via air lift.
22. Massive amounts of specific prayer went up at this time (on several national/international prayer lines/chains, 5 minutes before take off my stability level rose considerably. I survived the flight (miraculous). Flight took all of 20 minutes to get there.
23. Stability level dropped within minutes of end of flight.
24. Survived 22 more hours of straight surgery.
25. Survived receiving approximately 180 units of blood by now with no adverse reactions, tainted blood, nor side effects (if I understand it correctly most people go into shock after only 20 units, 40 kills them).
26. A local Augusta Church donated its blood bank to supply me with enough blood.
27. Lungs had collapsed and tore; they were repaired with no setbacks: i.e. no fluids built up, any bronchitis, or pneumonia.
28. Placed in Intensive Care Unit where a staff infection broke out in the 2nd week. I was quarantined in a closet space to protect me from infection. P.T.L. – I didn’t catch it.
29. Hadn’t spoken nor given the medical staff much response up till now. Doctors finally agreed to let my mother come in to pray with me. I didn’t respond. She began to pray in her prayer language and I immediately prayed back in mine. Doctors sent her out and I wouldn’t respond. She came back in praying and I responded. This went on for several days baffling the Doctors. Finally they let her begin to spend extensive time with me praying in her prayer language. It was the only way to get a response out of me (simply Amazing).
30. End of 3rd week placed in private room with 24-hour private nurse.
31. Begin speaking some (mostly hollering).
32. They find out that there is Memory loss or Blockage. Remember parents and some family but not wife, son, and friends. Can’t remember them visiting either. I argued with them about having a wife and son saying, “Noooo Way, I’m too young to be married.”
33. I met my “supposed to be” wife and later my son. I said, “She’s pretty, I guess she’ll do okay.” Got the first laugh (happy tears) from everyone.
34. Financial help from friends, family, church, local churches in Augusta, and co-workers at UPS (took up donations, sent “things” to help).
35. 4th week Christmas – I met my boss with my first recognition of anyone outside my family.
36. More prophetic words spoken over me.
37. Discover how extensive loss of upper body functions is, some from accident, most from lack of use.
38. Therapy began; this was Hell on Earth and torture at its finest level. 1st Occupational (3-4 weeks), then Physical (7-8 years), Social/Psychiatric (5-6 years – working on memory).
39. 4th week could pick up full small juice glass without spilling it (most of the time).
40. Large number of operations in 1st 3 months at Augusta.
41. 2nd month able to feed self for the most part without making a major mess.
42. Dad reads me a book by Clebe McClary a Vietnam Vet’s story (I highly recommend it) and made me laugh for the first time. Some amputees went fishing putting ketchup all over themselves causing a huge uproar at the dock when they pulled up; people thought sharks had attacked them.
43. My family is attacked financially – IRS hits Dad with an audit in the middle of all this.
44. More strife – all the large expensive household appliances at my parent’s are tearing up one by one.
45. Bills are pilling up faster than we can handle, family is in a financial crisis and the good ole IRS is still trying to take money that is not owed to them and is not there.
46. I am beginning to remember more people but events are all mixed up. My mother visits with my son.
My Mother & Son
47. Recovery begins to improve slightly. Family and friends are now allowed to take me outside.
48. Approximately 220 units of blood later.
49. End of 3rd month recovery begins to slip again. Father thinks it is time to take me home and after much deliberation with Doctors (pretty much my Dad telling them what he is going to do). He gets me released into his, my sister (a nurse), and my brother-in-law (an E.M.T.) care.
50. More prophetic words spoken over me.
51. They take me home (to SE, Ga area – swamp & marsh land) and to the beach where my recovery increases exponentially.
52. Wife hasn’t had much to do with me since my health deteriorated the last time.
53. Father takes 2 years off work to care for me. God works out his finances while he does.
54. I began questioning, “Why didn’t they let me die (instead of having to go through all this)? My Dad told me he could drop me out in the swamp for the gators any time I was ready.
55. More operations on legs.
56. Went from passive bed (after 3 months), to wheel chair bed (2 weeks), wheel chair (1-4 years), to walker (1 month), and to crutches (11 years) and leg (7 years). I use the crutches most of the time now because the leg is to cumbersome (and down right slow).
57. To get me to push myself in the wheelchair Dad would drop me off at the corner of the hospital and leave me until I wheeled myself to the therapy room. He would not let anyone assist me; so often I sat there on the curb even in the rain until I would finally get over my stubbornness and start pushing myself up the hill (yes he left me at the bottom of the hill & he did the same thing with the walker).
58. Right leg is recovering pretty well after being crushed and broken at mid thigh. Neurological damage is extensive but over the years it is supposed reconstruct itself, and does to a certain extent.
59. To get me over the fear of using crutches my brother-in-law (the EMT) would stand me up in the middle of the therapy room with the crutches, place mats around me, then take my crutches and leave me there on one leg till I fell. Once I got over the fear of falling I was ready to use the crutches more.
60. More operations on both sides of my body (leg, etc.).
61. More memory coming back but still can’t seem to get time correct –chronologically I am all mess up and I’m told I can’t seem to separate fact, fiction, and what I have been told.
62. More prophesies over me.
63. Had to make several trips to Miami for operations, Ma went with me.
64. Finally I made my first trip by myself with just the crutches (to force myself be more dependent on the crutches instead so much on the wheel chair), talk about precarious. I was scared to death!
65. Kept going to Miami for leg fitting and therapy at Miami University, Dad went with me for these; we drove down (talk about a long drive gheez -14 plus hours).
66. Wife still will not have anything to do with me do not know where she is.
67. I begin to wonder why I was still here. Why I had survived? What was my purpose for being here?
68. More trips to Miami then stayed in there for a while with good Christian family, found a good Church.
69. 1987 went back to college and found I couldn’t pay for it without track, so I took a few classes here and there and upped my grades gradually receiving an academic scholarship from a family in Waycross, Ga., along with the Presidential scholarship from West Ga., and assistance from Ga. Rehab.
70. Wife and I never recovered from accident divorcing in 1989. For most of the 3 years after the accident I never knew where she was or what she was doing and had no rights legally to enforce visitation. After several years of on going court run-arounds on visitation rights to my son, spending 10’s of thousands of dollars to no avail, and after much prayer and exhaustion, Dad and I agree to give the situation with my son over to God asking him to take over where we had been unable to succeed.
71. At this point in my life I am No longer interested in relationships.
72. I am still asking God, “Why am I still here.”
73. Last of over 40 operations and hundreds of thousands of dollars, 1991.
74. Finished at WGU in 1991 with a major in Economics / Finance and began my studies in International Investment while at Emory University in Atlanta where I began to play tennis with the aid of some of Emory’s tennis players.
Tournament at GA Tech
75. Haven’t seen or heard from son and ex-wife in quite a while. Do not know where they are, unable to find them, still believing that God is taking care of him, also praying for a change of heart from his mother.
76. I move to SE Ga. to help fill in when needed to care for my Grandmother. When I was not needed to care for her I spent my time on Jekyll Island learning more about tennis from the Head Pro – Pete Poole.
77. Still questioning God as to, “Why am I here, why did you save me, why did I have to lose my leg, why did I have to lose my family?”
78. Began to play tennis tournaments, the began to travel with the tennis, gained sponsorship from a major Tennis Racquet Company thanks to a awesome man named Bob Whiston with Dunlop!
79. Winning doubles tournaments with one leg. News Media catches on.
80. Dad designs new crutch allowing me to serve without bending down to pick up crutch. My level of play increase dramatically from this design.
81. Pick up Dunlop as my Racket Sponsor then additional sponsors for clothing, shoes, & more.
Playing Tournament at Jekyll Island Tourhament with new Crutch Stand
Loving the new Crutch
Dunlop is Tennis Racket Sponsor
82. Definitely not interested in relationships any more. Going to relax more & focus on God, Tennis, and being a Strong Positive example.
My dog decides I need some encouragement before practice
83. My cousin Aleise designs brochure for tennis exhibitions and sponsorship. tytytytytyty Aleise…
84. Received & accepted training offer to train in Bradenton, Fl. at Nick Bollieteri’s Tennis Academy. Playing loads of tournaments now – all over the Southeast and Florida.
85. Lots of News Media.
86. Made enough $ to play for 1.5 years straight (29 tournaments).
87. Played at Professional Tennis tournaments in Florida during the Florida Satellite tour. Got offers to do exhibitions and promote sponsors.
First Promotional Portfolio
88. Ranked #1 in the state of Ga. in doubles in able-bodied tennis.
89. Began speaking to groups. Eventually becomes a ministry set up out of Christian Renewal in Brunswick, Ga.
Speaking to the School Systems - Sponsored by: Forten Tennis Strings & Powerbar
90. More prophesies over my life and God’s use of it.
91. More News Media.
92. Fall 1993 played last tennis exhibition for a while, still recovering from injury.
93. Met my “to-be” wife (Dawn) at exhibition, while I was praying about the need for organizational help with tennis & ministry and Still NOT looking for relationships.
Didn’t know, to-be Wife
94. Become a registered Tennis Professional.
95. By December Dawn & I had become very good friends over the phone and via letters. Once in a while as I passed through Atlanta we would get to see each other. TOTALLY by caught by surprise, it hit us & we knew God wanted us to marry. We should have married immediately, but instead listened to people telling us to wait, causing A LOT of unneeded stress.
96. Haven’t seen or heard from ex-wife nor seen son in many years still do not know where they are.
97. I quit paying child support temporarily when I finally realized it might be a way to get her to come forward. It worked. Finally ex-wife is found and we go to court over visitation violations and of course I get counter sued for back child support (I know a father should always pay child support and I agree and did). We go to court settle the back support and visitation violations. At the end of court, shaking, my ex-wife walks up to me putting out her hand and says I’m tired of all this lets try to work things out. P.T.L.
98. End of summer 1994 Dawn & I get married. My son is in attendance. Wahooo!
99. 1995 in need of a van for tennis equipment in travels, Invited to speak in Bradenton, Fl at a large ministry where a man in the congregation walks up after the service and hands me the keys to a carpeted fully loaded cargo van, which has a tow hitch, and place for a sign.
100. By 1996 I was ranked #1 in Ga. in several divisions of able-bodied tennis, #35 in the South (8 states) in singles, and #9 in doubles in the South.
101. Finding ourselves in and out of Atlanta area a lot, my wife and I found an incredible church to attend – Liberty Church in Kennesaw Ga.
102. News Media Blitz, including large international attention. Continued playing competitively until 1998 and decided a change might be due.
103. Took temporary leave from playing as sought God for direction in my life, about a move to Atlanta to be near my son, and if competitiveness is still in me.
104. Pastor John from Liberty Church prophesies over Dawn & me about going through transition and a time of upheaval.
105. Other ministers, the Webster’s, speak over Dawn and I about our permanent move to Atlanta and our lives here, which we do.
106. I build up a tennis career in Atlanta and am speaking primarily to local Atlanta schools and youth groups as well as teaching tennis to over 100 kids and 40 adults.
Junior Team of Boys
107. My wife Dawn, home school’s my son and his sister (my ex-wife’s daughter) 4 days a week. This lasts quit a while and it is incredible to get to spend so much time with my boy. My son helps me teach tennis and is an excellent player himself as well as gifted in track.
108. I pray for continued guidance in my life from God.
109. Oh goodness all poo hits the fan, ex-wife violates visitation rights, after allowing us to keep not only my son but also her daughter as much as possible. Go figure.
110. Court proceedings began again ending in me finally getting full custody of my son (court systems are a bit blind to patterns).
111. Dawn and I purchase a house in Atlanta area during all the court proceedings, establishing a permanent residence in northwest Georgia.
112. I continue with motivational speaking until 2000 when I began to train for tournaments once again this time concentrating more on singles.
113. $60 Thousand dollars later, as I mentioned, I gained custody of my son, during this time.
114. Began to play competitively obtaining #3 rank in singles for in the South that year, then #2 next year and the following year.
Tennessee Tournament forehand
Tennessee Tournament serve
115. Saw my son graduate from the brand new Kennesaw Mtn. High School 2003 then join the U.S. Marines going off to boot camp, combat training, MOS, advanced weapons training, over the next year.
116. I fulfilled my final tennis Sponsorship obligation at the end of this year, retiring from Southern competition.
117. I am currently teaching lessons, always attempting to find better and safer ways to invest our finances, also hoping to go back to school to upgrade my minor in Computer Science.
118. I had been active in the Internet Gaming Community with my son (it was a great way to spend time with him – and he was the one who got me started – lol) for many years in hopes of reaching gamers by showing them how a life can be saved from death: physically, emotionally, financially, all torn, worn, beat up on, and yet recover to an even Greater more Valued and Incredible life through Jesus Christ who gives us Strength and the Ability to Overcome ALL Obstacles!
Hanging out with my mom dancing
119. Yes this is a true account, and yes I am a one legged Tennis Pro.
120. That is my life! This is my life! And this is my story.
Over the years my soul has born much and has been worn out time and again. Were it not for the continuing renewing strength of Jesus and God’s amazing patience with me, I would have long since withdrawn from this world, its many disappointments, chaos, and mankind’s continual pursuit of Self! I am by know means a saint, or perfect, I fail daily; however, though I may not be everything God wishes me to be, I will forever strive to improve, and be available to be used by him in any manner he deems needed. No not a religious person, a Way of Life, living in a world that tries ever so hard to deny it.
I give God ALL the Praise and Glory for everything in my Life all that it is and all that it will be. Praise the Lord for giving his life for me and every one of you as well.
121. I hope and pray that our gaming group did a lot of good over the years, once we got hacked things were never quite the same. People still come back to play sorts but we are not like the organized bunch we once were with groups from England, Australia, Japan, Canada, and Mexico. It is still so amazing to think that I have known many of the guys and gals via the Internet for over 5 years and going.
122. Since I realize I probably cannot teach tennis for the rest of my life, or play forever, since the tennis ministry has died down, and so has the gaming community, I have been very actively training for a new business that opened in 2005.
123. Please pray for our small financial business venture so that I may bless others with the opportunity to keep their Real Estate Property (Home & Business Property): www.1stCapitalSources.com
124. Fall 2006 my wife strated a Nutritional Business, please be praying for her as well.
125. Well its 2008 and the economy is wacked, clients to the finance company are scrambling to us for help them sustain their businesses.
126. I am still teaching tennis in the late afternoons & evening after work. I still love and enjoy helping people learn about a game that has given so much to me.
127. It is now end of spring season, my health has been very weird, and my body has been freaking out at the littlest things. I barely made it through the spring tennis season without serious issues.
128. I go to the doctors and for two weeks undergo so many tests that I felt like a pin cushion. I just found out that all that blood I had received 20+ years ago was tainted after all. Talk about flooring a person! I begin treatment to kill all the bugs this month.
129. It has been several months and nothing is working via the bug killing in my body.
130. Okay it’s been several more months and of them except the month of July was a good one. I have been unable to help out at any summer tennis camps, which I love doing soooo much.
131. Fall 2008 and my health has seriously affected my work. Economy is not helping much. Income is getting tight.
132. I was talking to one of our old gaming group guys and just found out he has similar issues/health problems. Man what’s up with this?
133. New treatments, we’ll see how they pan out. My friend is trying different stuff as well. We are going to keep in close touch and see what works for the other.
134. Wow! My son is 24 and just informed me that I am going to be a grand-dad. Wow! I am going to have a grandson. Good thing my God-daughter had her baby earlier last year so I could practice up on doing the baby thing again. I guess she made me a Grand God Father – “Smirk”.
God-Daughter & Grand God Daughter
This is my other God-Daughter
135. Ouch, its early 2009, our own creditors are slamming us with credit crunch, shrinking our credit lines making it near impossible to help new clients. Banks are sending us loads of referrals that they cannot service and now we are having a difficult time servicing. I spend most of my time meeting with private investors showing them client portfolios with decent assets in need of funding. Still getting the job done but with A LOT more work and time. Getting home pretty late these days.
136. Health is still off and on.
137. It’s May and I have a new grand baby – Woot! Woot! Wow talk about Amazing! He is soooo fascinating. I could care more than ever about my health now, I really want to live long enough to watch this lil guy grow up.
138. My son has 10 more weeks in the Marines – they had the party for all the guys getting out already and all he has left is his 10 week California trip. He will be filling in on a base in San Diego then he will have to make his decision to reop or not. Please be praying this is a major decision for him. Hard to believe he had been in 6 years. Time really flies.
Last few weeks in the Marines
139. When work is not crazy, still gaming but more with neighbors in LAN get-to-gethers. Been a great way to get to know some of them better. We set up a network for the neighborhood to use so we could all hook up and play sitting out on our decks and yell across to one another. Loads of fun during a rough patch in everyone’s lives and it saves us all some money to boot. I still play on Internet with old buddies but only when the neighborhood group is not on – the lag is murder.
140. Business is getting tougher and tougher taking longer and longer to close lending for clients. Credit crunch is nuts, the good thing is there is a lot of private money out of the stock market still so we are able to find funders, it just takes a lot more effort.
141. OWWWW – new treatment, talk about iiick! This stuff is nasty, but it is supposed to kill ALL the bad bugs in me. Time will tell…
142. Son left today for his last 10 weeks in the Marines. I blessed him and prayed over him before he left. He sure is a good young man. Maybe by the time he gets back I will be completely healed then I will be able to open up a can of whoop butt on him in tennis – ha ha!
143. Baby Isaac is here – oh my goodness he has grown a lot in just a few short weeks. He is so cute! What an amazing kid I bet he turns out to be. I’ve been praying a lot for him and over him; he just stares up and grins the biggest toothless grins. What an incredible blessing!
Grandson & his Awesome Mom
Grandson, Mom, and Greatgrand Dad – & of course my dog.
Wife and Grandboy
144. Wow it is so hard to believe it has been over three years since baby Isaac was born. He is more like a little man now. So amazing the words he picks up on and repeats in the correct context.
145. For the past three years I have been focusing on getting healthy attending Progressive Medical for treatments; along with West Cobb Chiro & Maximized Living for Nutritional, Health, Food Preparation, Wellness, & Fitness; Krista Timbs Masseuse for Sports related Trigger Point Therapy; Dr. Eli at the Herb Shop for Quantum and Herbal treatments, Dr. John Markham for Chiropractic; Natures Corner Market for Supplies; and of course Dr. Scott Perlman for Pulse Magnetic Therapy.
146. The expense for all of the above has weighed heavily on my family but everyone has been pitching in to help along with some serious debt reduction negotiations we have been able to pay for most of my treatments. I have had to take off the last several months to save up again for another round of treatments. I tell you that is one tough little bug we are trying to kill off.
147. This is probably going to be an odd thank you for some people to understand, but I would like to thank Chase, Wells Fargo, Fidelity, Discover, Bank of America, Citibank, Kroger & US Bank for continuing to work with us to on the debt and make it affordable to pay off. This had been a BIG relief and I hope and pray they will continue as we finalize the last of it.
148. My health improved off and on over the past few years enough to the point where I have been able to develop some incredible Adult and High School Tennis players. I am rebuilding the tennis side of my life slowly but surely as I feel stronger. I have lost tons of weight (like I had any to lose) so maybe once I get stable enough I can workout heavier again and gain it back. It certainly would be nice to have a bit more padding to sit on :) .
149. I am praying to increase tennis more and more as my next round of treatments kick in this coming Monday and I continue to improve.
150. I have been able to build so wonderful relationships and players at the high school level and loving every minute of my tennis life, thx for the prayers and support everyone!
As always God Bless you all – if you are reading this you know how to contact me so send my any prayer requests/needs you might have. I am a pretty good prayer warrior these days. Guess all that practice over the years pays off – ehh? Boy howdy, God certainly is good and GREATLY to be Praised!
TY & GB,
more updates coming at the end of Fall…