An 11-year-old North Carolina boy is inspiring millions of people with his determination to succeed in sports, despite having been born with only one arm.
A pitcher on his Little League team, Tommy Morrissey recently hit two home runs during a tournament in Cooperstown, New York, and a video of the moment went viral on social media, CBS 12 News reports.
“I was shocked. My hands were over my head – actually, hand,” Morrissey said. “It was a dream come true. I didn’t think I was going to do that.”
The 11-year-old is biologically right-handed, but his right arm is the one that is missing, his mother, Marcia Morrissey, said. But from a very young age, she said Tommy displayed an incredibly strong talent for hand-eye coordination, according to WRAL.
“He could catch a ball at ten months which is an extraordinary skill set for that age,” his father, Joe Morrissey, added. “The doctors didn’t quite believe us he could do it. Had to do it three times in the office just to prove it.”
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Speaking with Fox News host Janice Dean, Joe Morrissey said they found out about Tommy’s arm when Marcia was 14 weeks pregnant. He said he was not able to join his wife at the ultrasound appointment that day, so she was alone when she learned the news.
“The doctor very rudely and very straight forward said, ‘Your child is going to be born with one arm, you have options at this point,’” Morrissey remembered. “And you can image how my wife reacted and broke down.”
He said Marcia sat in the room alone and crying for a while, grieving for her lost dream of a “perfect baby.” Then, a nurse came in and changed her whole perspective.
“She said to my wife, ‘You’re going to love this baby. God don’t make junk,’” Morrissey said.
Today, they could not be more proud of Tommy.
A natural athlete, the boy plays golf as well as baseball, although baseball is his favorite. His one-handed golf swing is better than his dad’s, and he has played five times in the U.S. Kid’s World Golf Championships, even meeting pro golfer Tiger Woods, according to WRAL.
“Having one arm makes me want to try harder,” Tommy told Whistle.
Thank you Mr. Carrabis. I had a great time. Hit 2 dingers. One over the left wall and one over the right field wall. Here’s the right field wall pic.twitter.com/O8Q7bhvLO7
— Tommy Morrissey Golf (@onearmgolfer) July 12, 2022
Someday, he said he would like to play professional baseball and win the World Series. But he and his family already are making a difference in the world. In 2017, they formed The unLIMBited Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides financial assistance to children who need surgery and other medical treatment for limb problems. To-date, the foundation has helped 275 children, according to the report.
Tommy also wants to send a message to other kids who may be struggling with physical impairments.
“Just don’t give up,” he said. “Keep doing what you’re doing. Keep trying.”