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Disclaimer: I have no relation to Tom, but I thought this forum should know.
I was browsing my Youtube piano subscriptions, I noticed Tom Brier's friend Ron O'dell posted a video describing an accident Tom Brier had been in. I knew of Tom through his youtube and video game ragtime videos that always made me cheer up. Tom was one of my favorite pianists. I loved the video game videos for the great nostalgia, and appreciated his talent of musical interpretation. Sorry if this forum already has a post on this, I am just aware now.
Tom is a very dear friend of mine. On August 6th, 2016, he was rear ended by a Silverado going way over the speed limit. His car (Ford Focus) was smashed down to, what can be best described as, an accordion. How or why he survived is an absolute miracle. For weeks, he lied in a comatose state. He slowly, but surely, started improving. He first started moving his left arm and leg, which worried us at first since there was little to no movement in the right side of his body. His movement in the left side of his body has drastically improved, and he is now starting to exercise his right side more.
I should also add that, until a couple weeks ago, he was unable to talk. He is now mouthing words, laughing that signature Tom laugh, and is starting to half whisper half talk. He is seeing a speech therapist who is helping him out a TON. I should also add he can now eat solid foods and can successfully feed himself.
I'm sure a number of people are curious about his playing abilities... I don't think they were harmed at all. Another really good friend of ours, Chip Lusby, brought Tom an electronic keyboard that he has the freedom to piddle around on. Another long time ragtime friend, Elliott Adams, who has known Tom since he was a teenager, told me about a week ago Tom was playing arpeggios and chords with his left hand. Elliott reached over with his right and played the first few measures of "Maple Leaf Rag", and Tom was able to just jump right it. Not only did they play it flawlessly, but they played it in SIX different keys! (A-flat, A-major, B-flat, C, F, and E-flat). Elliott has also gotten a number of words out of Tom when he takes some of the original ragtime sheet music from his collection to show him. Elliott and Tom are active music collectors, and have always had very in depth conversations about music.
Tom WILL recover, it will just take some time. I'm happy to know so many of his fans care about his well being. I will be sure to tell him that when I see him in a few weeks.
There is a page for Tom on the caringbridge website, and many people have been giving encouragement, but be aware that donations will go to caringbridge and not to Tom. A recent post said he was playing scales; if he can do that, a lot must be starting to work again, which is good news.
"We shall always love the music of the masters, but they are all dead and now it's our turn." - Llewelyn Jones, my piano teacher
I love Tom Brier, he is my favourite contemporary rag piano player. I was really sad when I knew about the accident, but looking forward for his recovery, he deserves it, he's genuine and highly talented, and always makes me happy when I listen to him!