July 17, 2024

Thomas McNeilly

Jesus Christ is King

Thomas McNeilly walking again after being in a wheelchair for 27 years


Some of you have watched Thomas working hard to get off his wheelchair and walk again. His goal was to walk for his brother today. After 27 years, Thomas is walking. I am so touched I could be part of his journey. He did an outstanding job. Enjoy watching him beat the odds today and celebrate his success with him. Thomas’s journey. Thomas was born 2 months early, was breached and the Dr. used forceps to turn him around and forceps to deliver him. He was in high risk nursery, Intensive care, for 3 weeks. I spent every day from 7 to 6 in the nursery holding him in my arms, tubes and all, singing to him. I must have sung Jesus Loves YOU a thousand times. Thomas has never been able to stand by himself no matter how hard we tried to help him. I couldn’t get a Dr. to diagnose him; they just kept saying he was behind because he came so early. I read about a place in Pennsylvania called “Institute of Achievement for the Development of Human Potential”. I filled out the papers and we were accepted. By that time Thomas was 3 years old. This was a rigorous program of 14 hours a day, 7 days a week. (We only did 6 1/2 so we could go to church on Sunday). Some of the exercises took 4 people and through that year 174 people from our church came to the house and helped. Such dedication I’ve never seen and will forever be grateful. We bought Thomas some crutches and began working with him on using them. Finally, Thomas said he wanted to walk down the isle to Children’s Sermon the next Sunday. We practiced and practiced at home and then on Friday we took him to the church to practice. We had not told any of the volunteers because we wanted to surprise them. I sat with Thomas and his Dad sat on the other side of the church where they had the children’s sermon, just in case. I’ll tell you, there wasn’t a dry eye in the church when they say him walking across the church. Thomas used crutches from that day on until he was 10. When he was 4 I read about a procedure that was still in the research stage and called UCLA. Long story short, the 2nd time I called UCLA, a research Dr. in Pennsylvania had given me a number to call. I forgot about the 3 hr difference and called at lunch time. A gentleman, who was the head Dr of the research, answered and I told him about Thomas. (That was God taking control again) Final word was to get all his medical records sent to him and he would let me know. From the day I talked with him til the day our appt was, was 5 weeks!!!! The test – PET SCAN _ still in research stage. The test showed Thomas had a small black spot on the part of the brain that controls arm/leg movement. He called Thomas a miracle child. He also said because the Pet Scan is still in research it was free.! Another God thing. At school he began falling a lot so I took him to his Dr. in Atlanta. Xrays showed the tibias in both legs had turned in and he needed surgery. At that time the Dr. told me it was going to set him back and he would be in a wheelchair. It did. January of last year Thomas decided he wanted to try to walk with crutches again and start going to Gold’s Gym. He had done some research as to which exercises to do and he started his own program, 6 days a week 3 hours each day. People began to notice and one gentleman asked him if he had a goal and he told him he hadn’t walked for 27 years and that he wanted to walk with crutches again. Several people that were coming to the gym talked to one of the trainers, Frederic Leyd, and paid for Thomas’s trainer from day one to currently. Frederic is an amazing trainer and knew what Thomas needed to make this happen. It hasn’t been an easy road but Thomas had his mind set and nothing was going to change it. He wanted to surprise his brother, Michael, for Christmas. Michael had no idea Thomas was trying to walk again so they were so surprised when Thomas got out of the car and walked to them. Our church is a very large facility so Thomas next wanted to surprise the choir which he and I both sing in. Jeff told us to wait til they were settled down and then he could walk in. When they saw him walk in they were on their feel clapping, cheering and crying. ( I thought I was getting a video but didn’t have it turned on!!) The last two Sundays people at the front doors and in the foyer have clapped and cheered him as he has walking into church and down the aisle to our seat. That has been quite a feat as it’s quite a distance. He has so much determination and I can’t tell you how very proud of him I am. He only uses his crutches at home and getting stronger every day. GOD IS SO GOOD AND FAITHFUL!!! Thank you everyone for being so supportive of Thomas; it’s so encouraging to him. This definitely is a big deal for us. Thank you so much to everyone for encouraging him – it really does make a difference. Love to all of you and may God bless you. Mainly – Thank you Lord for miracles every day

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