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Tree worker with one arm helps Big Bend recover

Posted at 4:30 PM, Oct 31, 2018
and last updated 2019-10-02 15:45:48-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) – One of the ways the Big Bend is recovering from Hurricane Michael is with the help of tree workers from out of town.

Four years ago , while one of the workers Kyle Thomas was driving home with his wife, a tragic  accident caused his life to change.

"I had a really big limb, probably like this big, come straight through the middle of my windshield. I stuck my arm out to grab my wife, and whenever I did that, the limb just snatched my arm," said Thomas.

He was in a coma for two weeks and woke up to a new reality.

"It was either amputate my arm, or I was going to die, because I caught gangrene," said Thomas.

The state denied him disability pay five times and he was back at work just a month after the accident.

Jackson Thomas owner of North Florida Fence & Tree Service said "He's one of the hardest workers I've ever met, I mean, and he's all about safety. Keeps my company going, and if I'm not there, I trust him with my life."

Thomas climbs about three trees every day, and every tree he climbs is another risk to his life. But he said helping people in the Big Bend right now is worth it.

Thomas had to relearn a lot just to get back to work, but he said there's a lesson in what he's been through.

"Everybody is going to have something at one point in time in their life that's going to bring them down, but it's up to that person to get back up," said Thomas.

North Florida Fence & Tree Service has been helping the Big Bend and Panhandle since Hurricane Michael hit three weeks ago.

They said they'll stay for as long as they're needed.