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A will to live; a desire to work: Man overcomes disability aboard NAS Pensacola

A will to live; a desire to work: Man overcomes disability aboard NAS Pensacola

In September 1993, eight-year-old Tommy Huynh was witness to a triple slaying.

"A family friend broke in and killed my mom and killed my brother and sister," he explained.

An older sister was critically wounded. He survived by hiding under a bed.

A few years later, Tommy's father died of cancer. He bounced from home to home until he was taken in by Pensacola minister Dan Livingston. Still recovering emotionally, in 2010, tragedy struck again - a motorcycle accident.

"I died two times on the way to the hospital," Tommy said.

Tommy was in a coma for two months. His new family kept vigil and spoke life over his situation.

This verse came to mind, "Psalms 118:17; I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the Lord," Tommy said.

Fulfilling the word, Tommy survived; though he was left with permanent physical and neurological challenges. He endured almost a year of therapies out of state. He admits there were times he wanted to give up, but his family admonished him.

"Sit here and mourn and make people feel sorry for you, or the other hand, do something about it and live your life. I chose to live," Tommy said.

Not just live, Tommy wanted to work. He made a connection through Lakeview Center to their company, GCE. They're a job placement agency for persons with every level and type of disability.

Tommy was placed as a dishwasher in the galley at NAS Pensacola.

"I was so excited because I have the urge to work and also the mentality of working. It was like somebody gave me a chance," he said.

Tommy is one of GCE's walking, talking testimonies. So grateful for this opportunity to be self-supporting, he comes to work every day with that infectious smile and a positive attitude.

"Sunshine every day, every single day. I couldn't ask for a better employee that I work with every day," said GCE Scullery Supervisor Tammy Ellis.

And Tommy Huynh has never missed a day.

"We got it for 90 days to see if I can cut it but, hey, this is going on three years now. I love it. I love my job," Tommy said.

Angels In Our Midst is sponsored by Nemours Children's Specialty Center.

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