Thomas Edward had a very different familial experience than most people. When his mother was just 15 years old, she was hit by a drunk driver and suffered a traumatic brain injury. As a result, she spent most of her life dealing with issues like schizophrenia, psychotic disorders, and depression. By the time he entered high school, he was her only real source of support and stability.
Not long after graduating high school, his mother was living on the streets with an abusive boyfriend, fighting a narcotics addiction. Thomas Edward postponed his collegiate journey to take care of her. He took his mother off the streets and moved her into his apartment when he was 20 years old. He wanted to help her, but he also felt overwhelmed and unsure of what to do. It was a bumpy road, including frightening psychotic episodes, attacks from her ex-boyfriend, and encounters with angry drug dealers.
Through all of his mother’s sufferings, Thomas Edward saw some of the darkest aspects of the world. Fortunately, he became attuned to his spiritual side, allowing Thomas to see that love is always available, if nowhere else but within. This mindset was a huge part of what helped Thomas carry on when conditions were dire. Sometimes he just had to make light of the situation. He would find something to make fun of to bring out his mom’s beautiful laugh and put them both at ease.
After five years together, his mother was in the best shape Thomas had ever seen. In later years, she would refer to that five-year stretch as “the good old days.” Looking to move on with his individual pursuits, Thomas searched for a suitable assisted living facility (ALF) for his mom to join, but many were low-quality or littered with drug addicts. Thomas didn’t know exactly what to do, but eventually, he chose the best place available and moved into a new chapter in life.
Thomas Edward’s high academics allowed him to be admitted to MIT. Nonetheless, it was hard to move on and Thomas felt severe guilt for ending what might have been the best years of his mother’s life. Just six years later, when Thomas was an MIT graduate working full-time as an engineering supervisor in Everglades restoration, the rest of the family suffered their own hardships, leaving his mother vulnerable once again. At this point, Thomas went through the legal process to become her guardian, helping her to obtain Medicaid and a quality home to live in. When COVID-19 swept through Florida, Thomas visited his mother as often as possible, cheering her up through the window, as he was not permitted to enter. He had never seen her so lonely. Thomas tried to have her moved into his home, but Medicaid denied his request. Around this time, Thomas’ mother contracted COVID-19. On Christmas morning, Thomas woke up to a slew of missed phone calls. His mother had passed away just before the Christmas sunrise.
Serving and honoring his mother helped Thomas become a more caring, patient, attentive, joyful person. Those dark nights forged his self-will and help him shine brighter to this day. He knows how people can suffer in this world. But if you are here, if you are still breathing, then there is a reason to celebrate. Gratitude, celebration, and understanding others are core to how Thomas lives his life.
That approach carries over into his journey as an entrepreneur. Thomas founded Prosper Media to be an agency that could make a difference for people and the planet as a whole, a company that will listen deeply to understand you and your story, and help you make an impact in the process. Everyone goes through challenges, and everyone has something unique that can help them succeed.
To improve the lives of others, Prosper Media dedicates a portion of every sale to help non-profits make the world a better place. Its current partner is Inner City Innovators which provides inner-city youth with mentoring and anti-violence workshops to empower them to be the change they want to see in their communities.