Behind Kelly Thomson’s Smile

If you dont start out the day with a smile, its not too late to start practicing for tomorrow.

Ana Gutierrez, Entertainment Editor

As the Christmas break approaches, Kelly Thomson and her mom try on shoes – Chacos to be exact – for the Costa Rica mission trip planned for the summer. The weather outside is splendid, Christmas music plays in every corner; things just could not get any better.  Yet all of a sudden, Mrs. Thomson begins to have a stroke. The room spins as Mrs. Thompson loses control of her senses. For Kelly, everything around her happens too quickly. Mr. Thomson rushes in as her brother calls the ambulance and neighbors step in to calm Kelly down, who by this point is panicking and crying at the bottom of the stairs. In a matter of minutes, Kelly’s world has turned upside down, forcing her down the hardest path she has ever endured.

“She had a stroke in the brain stem, which controls all of your motor skills, so she couldn’t move and was placed in ICU,” Kelly said. “But after three or so weeks of being there, she began breathing on her own and moving her right hand. This is when things began to move forward.”

With the love and help of the Cinco Ranch community, including neighbors, churches, school friends, and more, the Thomson family hung in there, patiently waiting as Mrs. Thomson recovered. Each of them adapted themselves to this new lifestyle and found ways to make their situation as bearable as possible.

“When she got moved out of ICU and into to a different floor of the hospital we knew that we were going to be okay; she was going to be okay,” Kelly said. “My dad figured out a system for her to communicate with him by winking for a letter she wanted as he said the alphabet. She continued to make progress and we learned that every little improvement [was] something to be joyful about and a reason to smile. She should have died, but thinking that she is still alive makes me smile.”

This experience changed Kelly’s perspective on life and happiness entirely as she realized how quickly things could fall apart, and also how they could come together again.

“I would say that this was definitely a reassurance that, well, God is real,” Kelly said. “He gave me peace and joy unlike any other as I was going through the worst time of my life, so how could I think that I could get that from something else?”

Mrs. Thomson is still recovering today. Slowly but surely, each improvement she makes is just enough to bring even more hope into a situation that once felt hopeless.

“This whole thing changed my perspective by [me] realizing that there are so many little things to be happy about,” Kelly said. “She is in a wheelchair still. Her right side is almost fully functional, her left side is still coming along; that side is a little more difficult. But this is still major improvement from where they thought she would be.”

While some argue that to know joy you must first know pain, it is possible to be joyful by appreciating the things around you, knowing that they could be taken away at any instant.

After reading about tragic events happening around the world today, I have wondered what it would be like if we were attacked by another power and lost everything but our lives. Where would I find comfort? I know the answer to that when thinking for myself, but I also know that it is not the same for everyone out there. Would you have a reason to smile if what you hold dearest fell apart or disappeared?

“Knowing that there was a purpose for all this in God’s plan and that I can always have joy no matter in what situation I’m in got me through all this,” Kelly said. “My mom is alive. This is a reason to smile about.”


A message to the Thomson family from the writer: Thank you so much Kelly for  allowing me into your life and letting me write about your family’s struggles. I admire how strong you and the rest of your family members have been.