Jack Richmond (JR) and Reagan Richmond (RR)
JR: When you were two months old, I had a pretty severe accident at work. A forklift that I was driving turned over on me and crushed my leg below the knee. And initially when they told me I would lose my leg, I was in denial and disbelief and kind of like, ”What, why?” You know, ”Can’t you fix it?” But it just couldn’t be saved.
RR: And you had a brand new daughter–me. What were you thinking?
JR: I thought about you a lot. Sometimes I worried about how you would feel growing up with a father who had an artificial leg or whatever, so…
RR: I always thought it was pretty cool.
RR: I didn’t really know any different.
JR: You know, I had a young family and in a lot of ways it motivated me to get up and get going. Two months after my accident, I went back up to the hospital and I said, ”Well you know, I want to talk to other amputees and tell them it will be ok.” And they said, ”Well, that’s a nice idea and we appreciate it, but you know, you’re really not trained as a counselor and we can’t just let you come in and just talk to patients.” And as I was leaving the hospital, the chaplain saw me and remembered me, and asked me what I was doing there. And he said, ”Well, can you come back on Saturday?” And I said, ”Okay,” not knowing really what was going to happen. He trained me as a volunteer chaplain, and he gave me a badge and said, ”Now you can go talk to everyone in the hospital.” And I remember one young man that had lost his leg below the knee, very similar to me. I came in and just started talking to him, and said, ”You’re going to get through this. You’re going to survive,” and he just started turning red in the face. He says, ”Look, I’m tired of you people coming in here and telling me that I’m going to be okay.” And then it was like I realized I was wearing long pants. He had no idea that I was an amputee. So I put my leg on the side of his bed, pulled my pants leg up and I said, ”About two years ago I was in a room across the hall.” He didn’t say anything else, but the tears just started rolling down his face. And, uh, he thanked me and I left.
RR: My whole life growing up I saw you always helping other people. I know that you’re not very boastful about it, but I guess it’s really taught me a lot. So thank you.
JR: You know, you are truly blessed when God gives you the opportunity to help someone else. That’s our purpose in life.