The car swerved, rolled on the passenger side and dragged along the guardrail. When help reached 21-year-old Warren Thompson, his 6-foot-3-inch body was crammed down into the leg area of the passenger seat.
Thompson, who had caught a ride home from work, didn’t know he was getting into a car with a person who had been drinking and smoking marijuana.
The wreck left Thompson with broken ribs that punctured his lungs and stopped his breathing. He suffered brain damage from lack of oxygen and spent two months in a coma.
Thompson, 27, is now dependent on his mother, Debbie Clark, for everything.
Clark, who is president of the Columbia chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, said she doesn’t question why her life has changed.
She has devoted herself to her son. She feeds him, dresses him and takes him to the doctor once a month, if not more often.
As part of Think First Missouri, a program dedicated to educating people about the dangers of brain and spinal cord injuries, Clark and Thompson travel around the state speaking to students of all ages about the dangers of drinking and driving.
Clark said she has been humbled by the experience. “I believe there is a higher purpose to all this.”
Editor’s Note: Missourian staff photographers created “Season of Sharing”to raise awareness of community agencies and the people they serve. Each photographer chose to profile an organization and a person the organization has helped. The series, which we hope will touch
and inspire you, continues daily through Friday.