On July 6, 2014, after finishing his work as a Singing Hills junior counselor, Colin Thompson was in a car accident that sent him to the ICU. For weeks, Colin was in a coma and his family didn’t know whether he would survive or what lasting effects his bodily or brain injuries would have. Family and friends prayed he would recover. It was a gut wrenching time of waiting with deep hope–hope that he would talk and laugh again. Hope that he would walk and run again. Hope that he would have the chance to go back to LLYC–the place he dearly loved. And hope that he would experience life as a college student at the University of North Carolina.
Over the course of the weeks that followed his accident, Colin woke slowly from his coma and started the arduous journey of healing and rehabilitation. Nothing about Colin’s road has been easy, but it has formed him into the amazing young man he is three years later. And he truly is a gift to all who cross his path.
“Thinking back to the night of Colin’s accident,” said his sister and biggest fan Emma, “so many people in the room with our family were Camp people. I’ve always known that this community was special, but that was the time I knew how special. That was when our parents fully understood just how well this LLYC community loves people.”
“It’s incredible,” Colin said referring to LLYC. “It’s a place where I can be myself without anything holding me back, no worry of anyone’s opinion of me. I just know people here see me for the person I am and can get past my physical disability at this moment.”
Colin talked about being a counselor, “I love the friendship I make with my guys—being a big brother to them. I’ve had a lot of opportunity to share my story with them in Roundup talks, MOG, or Cabin Time. Something I know would have helped me at that age is realizing that everyone has a story. And you may not understand why everyone does the things they do or what makes them the person they are. But everyone has a story.”
Emma added, “It’s been incredible to watch him here—to see him change and grow and be an incredible counselor. It’s really so cool and amazing to watch this person I love walk and live out his calling.”
“There are no words to describe how Colin has pressed on,” said Chandler Pruitt, LLYC Senior Director, “his eternal optimism and continual goals. It’s been a process for him as he adapts to his current physical capabilities allowing his campers to help him—help him walk or give him piggy back rides—and he welcomes it. And that encourages them. When Colin isn’t able to play in a group game, he’s always sitting and talking to campers. He’s so sharp and so strategic in how he deals with his campers and how he navigates Camp. He’s an amazing counselor to those guys.”
When Colin finishes his time at Camp this summer, he will return to UNC for his junior year where he is taking a rigorous course load in Exercise & Sport Science. Though sometimes studying feels harder to him than before the accident, Colin said, “I really love the subject matter so it’s not hard to want to study.” He plans to attend PT school after finishing his undergrad at UNC.
And Colin has one more goal that keeps him focused and working hard on his own physical therapy: “I want to get healthy to run a marathon.”
Emma’s response? “Let’s do it!”
“I believe him,” Chandler agreed. “I believe in him!”
Colin concluded, “This whole thing has taught me that it really is a process. Being a Christian is not about the end result. It’s not about being perfect. Jesus takes care of that. It’s a process of sanctification—becoming more like Him. That’s what our life as believers is. God leads us into the storms to lead us into deeper grace. Early on I kept thinking there’s something I did that caused this. But the reality is stuff happens. God is sovereign and will work through everything. And I’ve gotten a little better at just trusting him to work through this to bring Him glory.”
Thank you, Colin, for being such an amazing part of the LLYC family. You are a role model to our campers and staff. Even through the pain, we see God’s goodness in your story. And we know God’s character even better because we’ve had the chance to know you.
Read more about Colin’s amazing journey on the FB group, Prayers for Colin Thompson.