Tom DeBlass Pleads For Help For Purple Belt Who Just Had Emergency Surgery

An emergency surgery can completely upend your life, landing you with thousands of dollars in medical bills and unexpected time off work. The result can be both emotionally challenging and financially devastating, leaving patients struggling to make ends meet during a time when they’re already physically incapacitated.

This is the case for a friend of ADCC veteran Tom DeBlass named Jay, who recently needed emergency surgery after what DeBlass describes as “years of wear and tear” on his spine. In a GoFundMe post created by DeBlass, Jay’s injuries were listed as two herniated discs, which pinched a nerve to the point that Jay lost complete function of his right arm. The result was a nearly six-hour surgery to release the nerve and have multiple discs fused.

Jay, a father of three and BJJ purple belt who trains under DeBlass, will be unable to work for four months, and as a builder, he doesn’t get paid if he doesn’t work. DeBlass started the online fundraiser for his friend to help ease the financial burden of his recovery.

Speaking about their friendship, DeBlass says that the two have known each other since childhood, and Jay’s been training under the black belt for about four years. “He always gives back and helps anyone that needs anything built or done,” DeBlass told the Jiu-Jitsu Times. “Helped me with my school a ton and asked for nothing. Did the same for my student that opened [his own academy]. Hours and hours of volunteering.”

At the time of this post’s publication, Jay’s GoFundMe has accumulated about $10,000 of its $15,000 goal. If you’d like to donate to the cause, you can do so here.


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