Jack Thomas

Losing an arm is a minor setback for this drummer

Monday, December 7th, 2015

Jack Thomas is one heck of a resilient teen. An avid drummer since he was 8, all Jack wanted was to play music, but this summer his music dreams were halted. The 17 year old from Port Coquitlam, BC was in an accident with a conveyor belt at his workplace, that ended up taking his right arm, right before he was due to start grade 12.

But this didn’t deter him. To Jack, music is his life, and all he could think about was how he was going to adapt to this change in his ability to play the drums and get his life back on track.  Soon enough, Jack was back at school, playing the drums again, with the assistance of a special drum kit that allows his feet to play parts his arm used to, and he’s expecting a prosthetic arm soon.

Ironically enough, one of Jack’s drummer heroes is Rick Allen, the one-armed drummer of Def Leppard, who ended up recording some of their biggest records with a specially outfitted drum kit as well. In fact the same drum tech that helped Allen, is helping Jack.  And while Jack takes inspiration from Allen, his band mates and classmates take inspiration from Jack, as a role model and as an indicator that no matter what happens, you can adapt.

According to his drum teacher, when he listens to Jack play now, compared to before, he’s actually improved as a drummer, that you’d think he was an able bodied drummer, the way he’s adapted.  In any case, when you have something you love and something to aspire towards, setbacks like this are just a bump in the road.


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