He Gave To His Country, Now Others Are Giving To Him

UPDATE (4/1/2014): So many of you reached out, we're happy to say the family can now pay for the special track wheelchair! Anything left over will be put toward a roll-in shower or a specially outfitted van. The Wollneys are very grateful.

(WREG-TV) Our Pass It On gift was $900 again this week, thanks to a former play maker from months ago, named Sandra Martin.

She dropped off a check for $300 out of the blue, matching the amount WREG pitches in.

Plus, $300 more is donated every week from our anonymous doctor in Collierville.

Our play maker this week is Brittney Nelson.

"I've known Brandy since our second year in high school. We've been friends ever since. Her husband Tom was injured in the military."

Tom Wollney wasn't just injured, his body is giving up.

Extreme and repeated trauma from more than 20 years as a combat air rescue swimmer has led to a neurological disease that's progressing fast.

Not long ago, a guy who was once jumping out of helicopters to save lives could get around with his cane.

Now he needs a wheelchair, and the left side of his body is virtually paralyzed.

The prognosis is that it will only get worse - not exactly what a 40-year-old father with five kids ranging in age from 1 to 14 should be dealing with.

"He can't get on the floor and play with his kids. He can't swing his girls up high and love on his kids like a father should. We're hoping to raise enough money to get him a wheelchair so he can be more mobile."

Brittney says the special track wheelchair would at least allow Tom to be out in the yard or ride on the beach, but it costs $10,000.

Like so many of our military, despite deployments all over the world and moving his wife and kids at least nine times, from Maine to Hawaii, Tom is humbled by Brittney's generosity.

Tom is looking at other expenses as well, including a wheelchair lift and a special bed, yet he shows not the slightest sign of a "poor me" attitude.

He has great sense of humor and a great family, and we wish them the best.

If you'd like to help, please email richard.ransom@wreg.com


  • Carolyn Bilbo

    I’m sure if a special account was set up for Tom he would get many donations. I’m also sure there are many FB Warriors out there that would be willing to help this soldier and his family.

  • Michael & Marlene Wollney

    Do you see what you wrote?Makes no sence!The word if when you know there is a special account! He has gotten many donations which you already know!What the heck is a FB Warrior?Yes there are thousands of people that are willing to donate,but are you?No your not.Why dont you tell everyone he is your grandson?Which has grown to be a wounderful ,kind, giving, determined,intelligent,caring,young man that has done so much& SERVED OUR COUNTRY!He is the most loving son, husband, & father that any parent, sibling, wife & parent could be proud of!Thomas had agoal when he joined the Navy & accomplished it along with other goals too!He is a wouded WARRIOR & has served our country in all so many different ways! He planned his life out from the day he joined the Navy to retirement! Unfourtally he was dealt a bad had.Thomas,Brandy,and all 5 of our grandchildren are dealing with his disabilty in high spirits & and not giving up!His wife Brandy is a very dedicated to thomas & all 5 children!! Brandy is a wounderful wife,mother,sister-in-law &daughter!Thats how we think of her as a daughter!Thomas is a wounderful grandson to his grandfather& grandparents!We would give our life to turn things around for him&his family!But dont act like you care cause you dont But there are many many that do!Get a life&STAY off the internet, social,facebook quick acting like you care we all know you dont!We could say how &why but its not worth anyones time.We all love you Thomas, Brandy, Kyle,Tucker,Lilly,Annnabelle,Hudson!Keep high spirits up like you always have!We all love you all. We say a prayer everyday all day&Nigjht!Keep the faith Lord is with all of you!

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