“Am I going to get shot today?” is most likely not a question that people reading this ask themselves on a daily basis. Unfortunately, for New Yorker Lorenzo Thomas this was not the case. His mother and grandmother told us about the day everything changed, how he was able to cheat death, and what boxing has done for him in terms of aiding in his slow and steady recovery. This FighterHeart story teaches us about resilience, hard work, and reminds us to be grateful for our lives no matter our perceived setbacks.
A Shot in the Head
One night, Lorenzo had gone out with friends, and it seemed like any other night. It was in the middle of the night when Lorenzo’s mother Stacy got a knock on the door that flipped her and her families lives upside down. Stacy recalls that moment, “one late night I got a knock on the door and I thought it was the police because of the knock, but it ended up being a group of kids Lorenzo had been with the night before. They told me that Lorenzo had been shot.” After not being able to get much info out of his friends as to where he had been shot and the circumstances, she headed to the hospital.
Awaking from Coma With Brain Damage
Upon arriving at the hospital Stacy didn’t know what to expect. She raced to where Lorenzo was being worked on and was told that he was in a coma as a result of being shot in the head. When asked about what happened, Lorenzo replied, “wrong place, wrong time.” He would remain in this coma for three days. After waking up on day three it was found that Lorenzo had lost nearly all motor skills and suffered a significant amount of brain damage. Although he was beat up, Lorenzo made it out alive, and so began his lengthy rehabilitation process. It was a few weeks later when Lorenzo decided to give Coach Mike a call.
Persistent From the Start
Fellow FighterHeart athlete Coach Mike, of Kayo Boxing in Long Island, trains people of all shapes and sizes to become the best they can be. In January of 2019, Coach Mike got a call from someone he couldn’t quite understand and hung up as he was busy with other students. A week later he got another call from the same person and he once again shrugged it off after not being able to make out what he was saying again. A couple weeks later he got the same caller yet again and finally told the person on the other line to just come in and speak face to face. Coach Mike recalled the day Lorenzo first walked into his gym, “A couple hours went by after the call and I see him walk in with his walker and it immediately clicked, oh wow that’s the guy from the phone. Oh man did I feel bad.”
World Champion in Life
From Lorenzo’s first session Coach Mike could tell that he was special. “I didn’t know what kind of limitations Lorenzo had or that he had been shot in the head. I took him over to the heavy bag and began training him as anyone else. You could see from day one how hard and how much effort he was putting in. I don’t get that kind of determination from all of my students, although I wish I did” said Coach Mike. When asked what boxing means to him Lorenzo said, “boxing has helped me keep motivated and busy. I like the company and energy that im receiving toward me while being here.” Stacy has always seen Lorenzo as a determined person and that hasn’t changed since he was shot, “Lorenzo happened to come to Kayo Boxing because of determination. He has always been determined and always felt like he can achieve anything, he’s just that kind of person. He doesn’t believe anything should stop him from doing anything that he wants to do, and the whole family supports him” she said. When we asked Coach Mike what made him take Lorenzo on as a student he said, “It’s not about training world champion boxers, it’s about training world champion people in life.”
Handle Yourself And Stay Strong
Lorenzo Thomas suffered an injury that is unfathomable for most, but has come out more determined than ever. He is the pinnacle of what it means to be a FighterHeart athlete and we have no doubt that he will continue to get stronger everyday. When we asked Lorenzo what it means to have a FighterHeart he said, “it’s being capable of handling yourself, and being strong enough to withstand anything that happens or what anyone says about you.”