Whatever Happened to John Thompson?

It’s likely you’re asking yourself who John Thompson is. The story begins in Minot, North Dakota, on a Saturday morning in January of 1992, when Thompson was unloading pig feed with a grain auger and playing with his dog. Somehow, he got too close to the power takeoff shaft (PTO), which didn’t have a safety shield on it. The next thing Thompson knew, he was waking up to his dog licking his face and the realization that his arms were gone. It turns out that the shirt he was wearing wasn’t tucked in and had somehow gotten wrapped up in the PTO shaft. No one else was home at the time, so Thompson knew it was up to him to get some help. He walked 100 yards to his house, turning the door knob with his mouth, and then using a pencil to dial the phone. Then he sat in the bathtub to prevent blood from getting on his mother’s new carpet. Thompson said the only pain he felt was when the exposed nerve hanging down his right side knocked against something. When he arrived at the hospital, doctors told him he shouldn’t be alive because he had nearly bled out. Despite the dire situation, Thompson said he can still remember getting mad at the medical personnel who had to cut off his brand new cowboy boots. Thompson and his arms were eventually loaded onto a plane for Minneapolis, where the arms would be reattached. Despite being in a coma for 4 weeks, nearly dying from a blood infection, and enduring more surgery and intensive rehabilitation, he still managed to graduate from high school and attend the University of Minnesota. He even managed to write a book, “Home in One Piece.” Today, at 48, Thompson is permanently disabled because his hands are unable to fully open. Nevertheless, he doesn’t let that keep him down. He works on the house he bought to flip, but decided to keep and is currently working with a friend to patent a new prescription bottle design that makes it easier to get just one pill out of the bottle. It’s pretty clear that John Thompson is a guy who doesn’t get rattled by much.
John Thompson(right) is pictured with Dr. Allen Van Beek, the surgeon who reattached his arms