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Tom Klotz

Tom Klotz and familyWHOOPS!

Back in January of 2000, I was working as a machine operator at the Philadelphia Navy Yard and also at a popular local bar, part-time. Super Bowl 2000 was a lousy, wet, snowy day but we had a big crowd inside for the game. Halftime comes and as I start to clean up after the buffet my leg comes out from under me and goes under an industrial freezer with tremendous force. As you might expect it made a loud whack and that was my ankle breaking in a very bad place. So over the next 2 and half years I went through 5 operations and thought, ok the worst is over. I’m a married father of 3 with the best family a man could ask for and I was barely 30 years old. I had no mortgage. Life was great even with this little hiccup. Now it’s 2003 and I’m back to work down at the Navy Yard and we decided to remodel the kitchen. Being that we had no mortgage we took out a home equity loan to do the kitchen and it was sizable enough to maybe even take a trip. The loan came in and within a couple days, my ankle snapped again. That timing meant everything because the 15 more surgeries weren’t even the worst part. That stupid loan that we had to use to eat during the next 18 months. That was the time it took to receive my first workman’s comp check. It was handled terribly by my out-of-country employers. That loan forced us to sell our home. We were ahead of life so much at barely 30 and then everything crashed down on us. Finally in 2010 after 20 operations, 3 failed fusions, 7 outside fixaters, a pain pill habit, and an alcohol problem, my 3 children were all happily married and having families of their own. Me and my wife are still together in a crappy one-bedroom apartment and couldn’t be happier and that’s it in a nutshell. While my road back was as bumpy as it was, it has taught me one thing. Never take a loan on something you own outright! My next chapter is about a toy I have invented called Monstor Detector. Look for it in stores as soon as I find an interested party. Thank You for the read, Tommy Klotz