When Barbie Thomas was 2 years old, she lived in an apartment complex in Pasadena, Texas. While playing outside, she climbed upon a transformer. For anyone who is not sure what a transformer is, it is one of those big green electrical boxes that you might see outside your house – only this one was much bigger. As she climbed up, she grabbed onto the wires.
Electricity 101: When electricity enters a body, it has to have an entry point as well as an exit point. It entered through both of Thomas' hands, traveled through her little body and exited through both of her legs. That is why there are burns/scars on both of her legs. Her arms were burned all the way through to the bone. They were completely dead and had to be amputated at the shoulders. She now has a shoulder on her right side, which she uses for many things, and not much on the left side. Her kids endearingly call these them her “nubs.”
The doctors said that she probably would not live. They said if she did live she would be a vegetable for the rest of her life. Her mother made a promise to God that day-- if he let Thomas live, her mother would make sure that she became “somebody.” The doctors were boggled by Thomas' recovery. They decided she must have survived because of the rubber soles on her tennis shoes. Thomas chooses to believe that she survived because God saw the bigger picture and had plans for her.
Thomas' parents did not have a clue how she was going to get through life with no arms. Then one day, Thomas reached out her legs to give her mother a hug-- it was at that moment that her mother realized her daughter would use her legs and feet. For a long time, the family struggled because she was so stubborn. Eventually, Thomas learned how to do things for herself. Now with children of her own, Thomas cannot imagine how difficult raising her must have been.
Thomas has strong faith in God. She believes she is here to be an example and an inspiration. She often times touchs people’s lives without her even realizing it.
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