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Port Coquitlam teen seeks inspiration from Def Leppard drummer after losing arm in industrial accident

Friends and family of a Port Coquitlam teen who lost part of his right arm last week in a work-related accident are turning to an 80’s rock star to help them get him drumming again.

At just 17 years old, Jack Thomas is dealing with a life-altering injury. Friends and family say the accident happened last Friday at the industrial site where Jack used to work. While firing up a conveyor belt, he noticed it wasn’t working properly.

“He reached in to dislodge a piece of metal that was in one of the cogs and it started up and unfortunately caught one of his arms,” said Neil Dayton, a friend of the family.

“It’ll change his life forever, definitely,” said Kyle King. He and Dayton have been visiting their friend regularly since the accident.

The injury has been all the more devastating because of Jack’s love of music. He’s been playing the drums for eight years, in bands both inside and outside of school. He also sings, writes and plays the guitar.

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Jack’s music teacher, Steve Sainas, says he and Jack’s classmates are doing all they can to help him: a benefit concert in the works, an Indiegogo page has been set up to help Jack and his Mom. Sainas they’re also reaching out to Rick Allen, the drummer for Def Leppard who lost his left arm in a car crash in 1984.

(You can donate here)

Sainas says Allen, more than anyone else, understands what Jack’s going through.

“Rick was absolutely determined to get behind the drum kit right away and he found solutions and he has some answers I think that Jack could benefit from,” said Sainas.

Allen was able to continue playing with the help of a specialized drum kit.

“It’s a hybrid of a real acoustic drum kit–an electronic drum kit that can be operated with foot pedals as triggers,” explains Sainas. “You can reprogram each of the triggers to trigger any part of the drum kit.”

Sainas has been reaching out to his contacts in the music industry with the hope of getting this same drum kit for Jack.

“This injury is devastating. We want to do everything we can to make this right for him and allow him to continue pursuing his dream,” said Sainas.

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