On his way home from training in Mammoth, California Derek Thomas’ life was completely changed.

Derek was traveling with his girlfriend, two fellow athletes, and their coach when their SUV lost control, flipped onto its side and was struck by an oncoming van. Derek was pulled from the vehicle with burns over 85 percent of his body, he was given a 1 percent chance of survival.

After one year in the hospital, and 43 surgeries Derek was able to return home. He had beaten the odds. His strength and will to live far exceeded scientific expectations. Derek’s survival story is astounding, and yet even more inspiring is his determination to continue living his life, uninhibited by his scars.

The Burn Institute partnered with Derek and his family to raise funds to support his recovery. Derek has embarked on a remarkable healing journey and is now living an independent, healthy and balanced life. If you would like to support the Burn Institute’s Burn Survivor Support Services, such as those provided to Derek, please do so here.