Remembering Derrick Thomas

Ten years ago today, the Kansas City Chiefs lost one of their greatest players of all-time.  Derrick Thomas passed away at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami following a car accident that left him paralyzed from the chest down.  Josh Looney at has posted a letter from Thomas written two days before his death.

This letter was written by Derrick Thomas on Sunday, February 6, 2000

I wish that there were enough words in the human language to express my sincere gratitude and heartfelt thanks for all of the well wishes, cards, letters, words of encouragement and prayers that I have received.  I would also like to thank everyone who has made donations to my Third and Long Foundation, as well as anyone who has made a donation on my behalf to Spinal Cord Injury Research.

I wish that I could thank each and every one of you individually, but that would be nearly impossible.

I would also like everyone to know that I am going to be just fine.  Please continue to keep me in your prayers, because an old friend of mine has told me, “When prayers go up, blessings are sure to come down.”

Derrick Thomas

What a devastating letter to read, even after all of these years.

Like most of you, I remember exactly how I received the terrible news.  As was a normal day in college I had slept in and when I finally rolled out of bed one of my roommates told me that Thomas had died.

“You’re wrong,” I remember telling him.  The word coming out of the hospital since the accident had been as positive as could be considering his injuries.  Thomas was going to recover, maybe even walk again.  He was at one of the best spinal hospitals in the country, there’s no way he took a turn for the worse there.

But he did.  And it’s been 10 years.

It feels like 20.

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