Chivers, this is the story of Taylor Morris (22 Photos)

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This is the story of Taylor Morris, a 23 year-old Navy EOD tech:

Taylor Morris learned at an early age he was hooked on the outdoors, adventurous, the middle of 4 children and always the last one inside for dinner at his home in Cedar Falls, Iowa. His mother Juli recalled, "Our family took a camping trip from Niagra Falls down the East Coast one summer. Taylor set up the tents every night, started the fires, cooked the meals. Taylor was only 8 years old." As Taylor grew older and took to extreme water sports and rock climbing, Taylor discovered he was also very calm under extreme pressure. This quality would later make him the perfect candidate for the Navy's EOD, Explosive Ordinance Disposal.

Explosive ordinance disposal specialists were made famous in Kathryn Bigelow's The Hurt Locker. They are the preeminent tactical and technical explosives experts. Nicknamed 'The Shield', OED specialists always lead, the first to put themselves in harm's way to tackle unexploded ordinance and IED's.

Less than one month ago near the Kandahar province in Afghanistan, Taylor was doing his job, right out in front.

Leading a team of Army Special forces to a classified location, Taylor stepped on an IED. It exploded underneath him and blew off all four of his limbs. Taylor recalled the moment to me over the phone,

"As soon as I stepped on it, I knew. There was a moment, then I heard the blast. I felt the heat. I knew I had lost my legs. As I summersaulted through the air, I watched my legs fly off."

Taylor landed back in the blast crater. This is where the story of Taylor's bravery goes next-level.

After the explosion, Taylor didn't lose consciousness, he didn't go into shock. His thoughts immediately crystalized. Even though Taylor was bleeding to death, he called to the oncoming medics NOT to come get him, putting their safety in front of his own life.

"I recounted the moment of the explosion. There was no visual on the mine and no sound ID on my mine detector. That told me the mine was old. If there were other mines out there, the medics wouldn't see them or detect them unless it was cleared properly. I knew I had arterial bleeding from all 4 limbs and I was bleeding out fast. I told my buddies to stop, it would only have hurt me more if somebody stepped on another one."

The area around Taylor was finally cleared by the second EOD and the medic finally administered combat casualty care. Taylor remained conscious through the ordeal.

Three days later on May 6th Taylor landed back in the States and was transported to Walter Reed hospital in Washington D.C. to begin the long and painful rehab process. Upon his arrival, Taylor became only the 5th person at Walter Reed to ever survive a four limb amputation. His physical progression in the last three weeks has defied everybody's expectations, "My body is responding well. I'm already sitting up. I'm very fortunate." Just yesterday, the stitches in his arms were removed and he was fitted for prosthetics.

I asked Taylor if he's been given a time frame to return home to Iowa.

"Nobody really wants to give me a time frame, I understand that. The doctors here are amazing but I don't know when I'll go home. I've got goals though, personal goals, and I intend on achieving them."

As our conversation drew to an end I asked Taylor if he needed anything medically, "No, I'm fully covered by the Navy for my medical needs." I asked, "Ok, Taylor, if you could have anything in the world, what would it be?"

Taylor paused and finally spoke,

"I've always dreamed of having a log cabin in the woods on a lake. A traditional wood cabin on the outside with a modern interior. And good lighting. Good lighting is important. My girlfriend Danielle and I, we live simple lives but we've always loved being active, spending time outside with our families."

I asked Taylor's girlfriend Danielle about this dream cabin. She said, "Taylor and I are both savers, and we had been working our butts off to ensure we'd have a cabin, close to water to do water sports, and places we can hike. After what happened, we will not abandon that dream if it takes years of saving."

After I thanked Taylor for the zillionth time for his service, I hung up the phone and sat in silence recalling our conversation. I was so nervous when we first started chatting but somehow Taylor sets you at ease. He made it ok to ask hard questions about the explosion that nearly killed him and his painful rehab. I recalled something his mother had told me over the phone, "Taylor has a certain humility about his pain, it comforts you."

I knew I had just spoken to a hero, not the movie kind either, a real one. And I think he deserves a hero's homecoming. Taylor hesitated to tell me his own timeline to return home, that hope belongs to him alone, but I believe when he does return home at the end of this long journey, HOME should be to a place he's always dreamed about.

When Taylor returns, I want theCHIVERS to have provided the down payment on his dream cabin. We have the best community on the internet and I'm setting the goal at $30,000. But we all know about your endearing tradition of smashing goals. Let's help build Taylor his cabin, a place where he and his family can relax for generations to come.

Taylor's family has set up a website, TaylorMorris.org, to educate people about his life and his injuries. They've set up a donations page. Paypal and Credit Cards are accepted right here.

Even if you donate a dollar you're making a huge difference. There are millions of Chivers and if you give just a little, your dollar will go farther than you'll ever imagine in this moment right now.

UPDATE #1: I can't believe this but after 45 minutes, Taylor's story is going viral. The total raised already is $27,814.00. Unreal.

Update #2: 12:15 PM PST: $36,442. Goal exceeded! The family told me the donations appear to be coming in even faster right now.

Update #3: 12:35 PST: $48,170

Update #4: After crossing the $50,000 mark I spoke to Taylor, Danielle, and the Morris family. They are gathered around the computer in disbelief. Taylor said, "I had no expectations for this, John, I can't believe this is happening. Please thank all the Chivers for me from the bottom of my heart."

Update #5: $60,000

Update #6: $70,000

Update #7: 2:20 PST $80,000

Update #8: 3:20 PST $95,000. Let's do this, Chivers!

Super-Awesome Update: We just hit $100,000 in 4 hours and the donations show no sign of stopping.

Update #10: 5:30 PST $115,265 UPDATE #11 (5 minutes later): $120,000


Late Night Update
: I'll continue these updates first thing in the morning. Even late into the night the donations continue to surge. We've hit $143,000. You've exceeded the initial goal by over $100,000. Words escape me.

Update #11: 8:00 am PST $177,641

Update #12: 1:30 PST $196,000 - The final push to $200k

Update #13: $200,000!!!

Update #14:$210,000

Update #14. Saturday 10:00 am PST $230,000

$250,000!!!

Donate right here.

If you feel like mailing a check, a $5 bill, or even a letter of encouragement:

Sid and Alvira Morris
5026 Sage Rd
Cedar Falls, IA  50613

I’ll be bringing you updates every hour on the donation amounts as they come in so check back.

I know Taylor is reading this, theCHIVERS will be making a company donation of $1,000 as well as personal donations to get this started. Thank you for your service and your sacrifice.

Chivers, you know what to do.

UPDATE #1: $27,814.00 in less than 45 minutes. Chivers, this is amazing.

Update #2: 12:15 PM PST: $36,442 Goal exceeded! The family told me the donations appear to be coming in even faster right now.

Update #3: 12:35 PST: $48,170

Update #4: After crossing the $50,000 mark I spoke to Taylor, Danielle, and the Morris family. They are gathered around the computer in disbelief. Taylor said, “I had no expectations for this, John, I can’t believe this is happening. Please thank all the Chivers for me from the bottom of my heart.”

Update #5: 1:40 PST: $60,000

Update #6: 2:00 PST: $70,000

Update #7: 2:20 PST $80,000

Update #8: 3:20 PST $95,000. Let’s do this, Chivers!

Super-Awesome Update: We just hit $100,000 in 4 hours and the donations show no sign of stopping.

Update #10: 5:30 PST $115,265, UPDATE #11 (5 minutes later): $120,000


Late Night Update
: I’ll continue these updates first thing in the morning. Even late into the night the donations continue to surge. We’ve hit $143,000. You’ve exceeded the initial goal by over $100,000. Words escape me.

Update #11: 8:00 am PST $177,641

Update #12: 1:30 PST $196,000 – The final push to $200k

Update #13: $200,000!!!

Update #14:$210,000

Update #14. Saturday 10:00 am PST $230,000

$250,000!!!

`
  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=558394158 Kenn Campbell

    Found this on UK's Daily Mail website.
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2153924/P

  • Bridget Gilbert

    Trampass and Bridget Gilbert says:Trampass and Bridget Gilbert says:
    June 3, 2012 at 7:13 pm

    This is Trampass and Bridget Gilbert we are from Georgia and my husband Trampass works with Taylor’s dad in Pensacola, Fla. Trampass is an electrician and he said he wants to wire Taylor and Danielle’s cabin for them. He wants to do it himself and wants Taylor to have all the best shit in the cabin so Taylor will not have to worry about a thing! So need to worry about getting the cabin wired it is taken care of when the time comes.

    Taylor you are a true American Hero. Thank you for your courage and bravery in keeping the United States safe. We wish you the best in your recovery and keep the motivation that you have always. You have a truly remarkable family that will always be by your side and that is a wonderful gift.

    Trampass and Bridget Gilbert

  • Audra Richter

    Thank you for serving our country. I'm so sorry for all the pain you have had to go through, you're a brave man. You're in my prayers. God bless you and your family. Peace

  • Mathew

    What a hero and what a great job The Chive has done.

    Their effort has made the news in Australia. Refer the link below.
    http://news.ninemsn.com.au/world/8478053/stranger

  • http://sopa.asia/?p=757 Strangers buy dream home for amputee hero

    […] Source: The Chive […]

  • Ben Mcaninly

    This just turned up on ninemsn in australia, well done everyone. Proud to be a Chiver. http://news.ninemsn.com.au/world/8478053/stranger

  • https://www.facebook.com/galesbug Gale Lunsford

    You Go Taylor. It looks like you are one amazing Man. We need more like you.

  • jcmgardner

    Your story has reached Australian news now. I wish you all the very best in your recover. Donation made xox

  • http://www.jbrugby.net Jinger B

    Done! Looking forward to your Log Cabin Homecoming!!!

  • Yut

    Yea it sucks but it's sad to see his story exploited on the Internet for money. Ive had marines lose limbs and never thought to make money from it. He was doing his job that he volunteered for like the rest of us.

    • lainey

      He never tried to make money from it, family set up a trust and the chive got wind of it. Also I donated not because he got injured doing his job but because when his life was on the line, bleeding to death, he put others before himself to ensure their safety. Risk your life doing your job, then risk it to within a couple of minutes for a second time to protect others….. That Yut, is what we call a hero and he deserves every cent he gets.

    • http://twitter.com/resullins @resullins

      I would also like to point out that quadruple amputees are incredibly rare. He didn't give AN arm. He didn't lose his LEGS. He lost everything that would let him lead a normal life. This man put himself before every other man in his crew, and will now require care for the rest of his life. And frankly, if people want to help him out for being so selfless and defending what you seem to take for granted… then that's not exploitation. That's charity, that's aid. That's our way of saying thank you.

    • MAK#1

      if you are a fellow soldier like it appears you might be…you should not rain on his parade like this…plus no where has he asked for money, set up by family and people who care. not everything in life is equal…so just because one person gets this doesnt mean everyone should and a 4 limb amputee…usually never lives. so.

  • MMO

    The Americans should relief Mr. Hamid Karzai of his presidential authority, if this measure was taken from the early stages of his presidency which would have stopped the bloodshed in Afghanistan. I'm surprised, how the international community has not yet figured and came to a conclusion that Mr. Karzai does not have the capability to led a small section of office, then how would he be able to led or run a country like Afghanistan, in all its issues and factors that the country is currently experiencing. If he continues like this the international community will suffer greater than the story of Mr. Taylor Morris.
    It is obvious that Mr. Karzai is a corrupted President in Kabul has become and how much money are wasting for an incapable President.
    He has triple face one to Taliban, the other to Pakistan finally another to American who have given him power, all kind of supports, on the other hand he receive bribes monthly bases from Ahmadinejad President of Iran too.
    Mr. Taylor Morris, you bring tears to my eyes. I wish you well in your recovery and future.

  • australia

    I got $5 on it for sure. Chivers unite.

    Just wanted to add I'd throw in $5 just for beard support! Keep that beard going too man!

  • Joe

    I'm in the Israeli Defense Forces and this story just touched me, donated.

    Trying to get a bunch of other guys to donate as well.

  • Bobby

    Thank you for your service taylor……you truely are a american hero…God Bless you and your family….Keep Calm & Chive On….from Burlington, Iowa

  • eagle65

    The outpoor of generosity here reminds me of post 9/11 when Americans united and stood up for the great country we live in and will protect and defend at all cost as Taylor Morris has. I remain proud to be an American and Taylor surely reenforced why I am so proud.

  • paulhitchcock

    I'm way late on this (no internet access last week), and the goal has been demolished as usual by the Chivers. I'm donating anyway. It's the least I can do to support a true hero in every sense of the word. Thank you for your service, Taylor. We owe you a debt of gratitude that can never be repaid. Best wishes to you and Danielle for a wonderful life together.

  • Rob

    Donated. That's the very least we can do to help this hero out!!!

  • http://thebubbaeffect.wordpress.com/2012/06/04/a-taylor-isnt-just-a-great-guitar-were-talking-about-american-heroes/ A Taylor isn’t just a GREAT Guitar – We’re talking about American Heroes « The Bubba Effect

    […] “inChive“; (Where an incredible fund drive is going on right now to help Taylor and his family build a […]

  • Scott

    Donated! KCCO and enjoy your new home, you deserve it! Thanks for your service.

  • Paul

    CRAAAAZY!! Chivers do not F*ck around!! Greatest community EVER!!

  • Matt

    I'm proud to be a Chiver – I feel great!

  • David Baye

    Update please!

  • martinisteve

    Update por favor!!!

  • rubio

    Pleeeeeeeease!

  • terry

    Been away from the Chive to long. That's a real hero. Donation sent……

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