I am Tim Totherow, born July 27, 1967. I married my wife Shanda on December 2, 1990. I have two daughters; Shanoa, born February 4 1994 and Mckenzie, born March 5 1998. I accepted Jesus as my saviour in June of 2000, and was Baptized along with my daughters on March 5, 2006. What a glorious day to join my wife as a Baptized believer.
My Father began racing in 1967 as a car owner to local standout Johny Dill. Not satisfied as just an owner, He built his own and began the 1968 season in the legendary Mopar #39, which became known as the "Mayflower". He was one of the "ones to beat" in this area, as he was sucessfull enough to have many wins, and be profitable at racing. My Fathers racing put a love in my heart for cars, engines and speed.
I began driving for my Dad at the age of 18 at Rhea County Raceway in a Chevelle that we bought used. I drove for him for the next several years at Cleveland, Boyds, Winchester, Duck River and others. I then moved to Memphis and drove for my two brothers, Mike and Jarvis. We ran at Memphis Motorsports and Riverside in West Memphis for a couple of years. I then rejoined my Dads team up until his health forced him to retire completely. The last race I drove for him was in 2000.
I was preparing for a comeback in 2006 when my life changed forever. On May 4, 2006, while at a work, I fell off of a ladder onto a concrete surface. My back was broken in what is called an L1 burst fracture. I am now a paraplegic. Because my spinal cord wasn't severed, I have a good chance at regaining some use of my legs if not all. I will never be able to return to construction, but with vocational retraining, I can hopefully return to another line of work.
Then again more life changing experience.s On September 19, 2006, my Dad lost his long battle with cancer and on May 19 2010 my mother also lost her battle with cancer. Watching their "never give up", "never complain" attitude has inspired me to not only conquer my disability, but to do what they and my entire family have enjoyed for so long: TO RACE! With their motivation, help from my family, my sister, my brothers, my Church, and God, we have done just that.
After my accident, I had surgery at Erlanger Medical Center in Chattanooga, where steel rods, pins, and screws were used to repair my back. You should see the X-ray. I spent a week there in recovery and was then transferred to Siskin Hospital for Physical Rehabilitation. Siskin is a wonderful place. The doctors, nurses and the therapists there are the most awesome people I have ever met. From the first day that the therapist helped me to just sit up on the edge of the bed, to where I am today is a long way from where I thought I would ever be. I initially couldn't hold myself up and had no feeling or movement in my lower body. In the 9 weeks I spent at Sisken I had huge gains in movement and feeling in my lower body through hard work and very dedicated therapists.Going back home was exciting and very scary. I wanted to be home with my family so much, yet I was scared of how I would cope. I have to say I have a wonderful family.
I then went to Sisken as an outpatient 5 days a week from 9 am to 3 pm for an additional year and a half. It was intense physical therapy not only for my lower body but also to strengthen my upper body, so that I might be more independent and able to do more things.
I have since regained considerable use of my legs, though I am still not able to walk without ankle braces and a walker. I use a wheelchair out in public areas as my stamina while walking and balance, while slowly improving , are not yet where I want them to be. My strength and stamina while sitting are far better than before the accident. This is one reason why I felt confident about getting back in a race car.
I have had many people inspire and push me through the rough times and am very thankful. I hope to be able to inspire others to do whatever it is they want to do,even if they can not do it in the normal way, there is a way! I am proof of that.
Thank You and God Bless, Tim Totherow and family