Tommy Morrissey is seven, has only one arm and yet is incredibly skilled at using it to hit golf balls.
The combination has brought Tommy considerable attention and, by extension, a platform that he and his family are using to assist other families with children possibly facing limb amputation via The UnLIMBited Foundation.
“If there’s anything our foundation can do to prevent a child from losing a limb, we want to do that,” Marcia Morrissey, Tommy’s mother and the president of foundation, said.
The Morrisseys have partnered with the Paley Orthopedic and Spine Institute in West Palm Beach, Fla., which is committed to seeking alternatives to amputation for children born with congenital limb deficiencies.
Their foundation has started the Tommy Fund that “provides financial aid to patient families to help mitigate the financial burden on the families while the child is going through surgical procedures and rehabilitation [at the Paley Institute],” Marcia said.
“Fortunately, in South Florida where we live, we have world renowned limb-correction specialists at St. Mary’s Hospital. As the sun, moon and stars have aligned, [Dr. Dror Paley] is basically in our backyard. We reached out to his team to let them know we wanted to be involved in creating awareness of these limb-saving procedures. Most families have no idea they exist. We can utilize Tommy’s platform to be able to create awareness and to encourage donors to partner with us.”
Among those donors is the Jordan Spieth Family Foundation, which provided the Tommy Fund an outstanding grant, the largest to date, to support children in need of this special attention. “Tommy is a great kid,” Spieth said. “I’ve been impressed with his determination each time we’ve met and to watch him give back to other families shows amazing maturity and thoughtfulness. I’m really glad their work for children with special needs falls within our pillars, it’s a very important area to support.”
It’s easy to take walking on the beach with our own two feet or giving a hug with our own two hands for granted, but for the children we serve, it is priceless. As the mother of a child amputee and the daughter of an amputee, I know all too well the challenges amputees face as they navigate everyday life. Your friend Tommy, my son, is the inspiration behind the UnLIMBited Foundation. We couldn’t be more proud of the work he is doing through golf to help so many children receive the gift of useful limbs. On behalf of Tommy, The UnLIMBited Foundation, and the children we serve, thank you for partnering with us.
“It makes me very happy,” Tommy said of Jordan Spieth’s involvement. “The kids at the hospital [the Paley Institute] are going to be so surprised when I tell them Jordan wants to help them.”
Tommy and Spieth have known each other for four years, Marcia said. “They’ve been buddies and there’s a real connection there. It was just a natural segue into reaching out to the Jordan Spieth Family Foundation to ask to partner with us on this mission. Of course, with Jordan’s big heart for children with special needs, it appealed to him.”
Special needs youth is one of the four pillars of the Jordan Spieth Family Foundation, joining military families, junior golf and pediatric cancer.
“The one thing about tying our hitch to Dr. Paley is that we have aligned ourselves with the leading expert in limb correction. But also to be able to share with the world that the Jordan Spieth Family Foundation has partnered with us, that will also help propel the Tommy Fund and play to a whole new stratosphere. We believe more donors and grant makers will come to the table as a result and we can help countless families in this position.”