Wesley Jones grew up with a passion for the outdoors. He spent many of his weekends either hunting or fishing.
But his life changed forever on April 9, 1987, when he fell from a tree house and broke his neck.
“I remember looking up in the trees and seeing the leaves on the trees blowing. I could feel the wind on my face, but that was it,” he said. “I couldn’t feel anything else.”
The injury left him paralyzed from the neck down, except for the partial use of one arm.
But he never lost his love for hunting.
In fact, he and his brother Reggie would go on to create Unlimited Outdoors, making Wesley the only quadriplegic host of a nationally aired outdoor television show.
“We knew we could still be helping people and hopefully inspiring them, and getting our family’s story out, and having fun in the process,” he said
Wesley’s message of hope reached millions.
But he wasn’t done.
Their next project, Triumph over Tragedy, does everything from delivering care packages to grief counseling, to making homes handicap accessible for those who’ve suffered serious injuries or illnesses.
“I’ve always had a deep passion for wanting to help people,” he said.
Their latest project involves Devon Gales – the Southern University football player who suffered a spinal injury last September in a game against UGA.
Wesley, Reggie and the Foundation’s Adapt team will now build Gales’ a brand new home in Baton Rouge.
“It’s the little things you don’t realize when you’re building a house,” he said. “Just to widen a doorway is a big difference.”
Wesley said he draws his strength from his faith.
“Whatever trials and tribulations that I’ve gone through in my life, no matter what they were, God has always been there,” he said. “And I know I wouldn’t be here today without him.”
His brother said Wesley is an inspiration to others.
“I was actually standing on the ground below him,” his brother Reggie said. “Little did I realize that God would use that particular day for him (Wesley) to be able to build a platform to reach millions and give back to others.”
Wesley Jones proves adversity is, after all, only a word.