Jay C.Thomas was born on December 1st, 1976, in Richland, WA. From childhood, Jay excelled at sports and had a love for loud music at an early age. Many considered him to have a natural athletic ability, participating in sports such as baseball, basketball, golf and later in his teen years, skateboarding. In 1983 the Thomas family picked up and moved to Orange County California were his parents raised Jay and his younger brother James-Roy together in the city of Placentia. Both attended Sierra Vista Elementary, Tuffree Middle School and El Dorado High School.
In 1996 at age 19, Jay moved to Huntington Beach, CA, where he would be closer to his job working at the Spaghetti Bender in Newport Beach, CA. While attending Orange Coast College in his 20's, Jay found it would make more sense to live closer to work and school rather than commuting back and forth from Huntington Beach. So at the age 24 he packed up shop and moved to Costa Mesa. If Jay wasn't working, often times you would find him at a local show or grabbing a cup at the nearest coffee shop killing time, telling stories and developing life long relationships that would eventually lead him to one of his great passions... surfing.
In 2007, after working two jobs as a restaurant manager and laying hardwood floors, Jay sought an end of an era working at the Spaghetti Bender and was excited about landing his new job at Mother’s Market on 17Th Street in Costa Mesa. With his sparkling personality, witty sense of humor and commitment to hard work, Jay found himself in a management position in no-time and, as always, making friends and taking names. Jay became a familiar face at Mothers Market and with Jay’s new job being closer to home, he found more time in his schedule for his friends and his endless love for surfing.
On the fateful morning of March 2nd, 2009, while surfing the south side of the pier in Huntington Beach, CA Jay suffered a C6 spinal cord injury (SCI) leaving his body limp from the chest down. With the fast acting staff of the Huntington Beach Lifeguards and a fellow fireman in the water, they got Jay to the beach safely and on his way to the hospital. With the help of an amazing medical staff, and after two successful surgeries at UCI Medical Center in Orange, CA, Jay’s injury was determined to be an incomplete spinal cord injury, leaving doctors to be very optimistic of a full recovery. On Friday, March 13, after almost 2 weeks in intensive care, Jay was transferred to The Rehabilitation Center at Long Beach Memorial Hospital where he is currently receiving physical therapy five days a week and an amazing hospital cuisine.
Still facing uncertainty of how much ability he will recover, Jay is making incredible progress on a daily basis. With Jay’s extraordinary attitude and his instinctive ability to adapt and overcome, Jay’s battle with SCI is far from over.Jay, we all love you and support you in your road to recovery in every way possible.