TFO Helps Critically Injured Rugby Player Jon Thomann

jon thomann

What can be learned from the game of rugby?  Undoubtedly, each match offers a medley of emotions.  For the victorious, there is triumph and satisfaction, and for the defeated, disappointment and despair.   No matter what side you may fall on for the day, these emotions are momentary, only to be visited again at a later date.   The season is not over yet, and there is more work to be done.  The victors move forward with confidence as the defeated seek redemption.  

In life, like in rugby, there are great highs and devastating lows—times of triumph and times you feel defeated.   In times of defeat, when obstacles seem to great to overcome, it is important to remember the lessons of the game— you must have the confidence to move forward and always seek the possibility of redemption.  As long as you’re breathing, life is not over, and there is more work to be done.

Jon Thomann, a former member of the Jefferson City Rugby Club, understands this better than anyone.

On June 21st, 2008, Jon fell down a flight of concrete stairs at a friend’s cabin suffering a serious head injury.  He was taken to the local hospital, from where he was flown to Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis for imaging and care.  Upon arriving at Barnes-Jewish, Jon’s CT scan showed that there was a large clot forming and pressure building on the right hemisphere of his brain. Surgery was performed immediately to remove the clot and relieve pressure on Jon’s brain.

After staying in four different hospitals in five months, Jon returned home to begin his recovery.  Although everyday is a struggle, both physically and emotionally, Jon continues to overcome obstacles.  As his father Joe says, “Jon has progressed significantly from his earlier days of this journey…His smile gets bigger each day.”

Upon hearing of his accident, the Try For Others Organization (TFO) immediately set-up a web page for Jon where supporters could not only donate directly to his family, but also purchase TFO Apparel in Jon’s name to assist in his fundraising efforts.   

On June 21, 2009, TFO presented a cash donation to Jon so that he could continue on his road to recovery.  TFO’s donation helped pay for a recumbent bicycle, exercise mat, and therapy ball to help Jon live a more active and independent lifestyle.    

“We are honored to be able to help Jon,” said TFO founder Dominic Cooke.  “We couldn’t have done this alone though.  All those who have supported our organization, and bought TFO Apparel made this possible.”

 At the 2009 USA Sevens, TFO featured Jon’s story at their booth alongside a TFO poster to write him messages of support.  Within 2 hours, there was no more space left to write.  Perhaps Joe Thomann, said it best, “The rugby brotherhood obviously has a strong bond among its members.”


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