Good Fel­low­ship mem­ber over­comes dis­abil­ity

For the past 14 years, John Lang­don has re­mained a ca­reer/vol­un­teer mem­ber

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - LOCAL NEWS - By Gil Co­hen Spe­cial to the Daily Lo­cal

What was sup­posed to be an af­ter­noon of fun at a friend’s house turned out to be a life-al­ter­ing ex­pe­ri­ence for 9-year-old John Lang­don.

Lang­don, his brother and his brother’s friend were play­ing “war.”

“My brother’s friend cap­tured me and threw me into some bushes, which were near a road,” Lang­don re­called.

In pur­suit of the other boy, Lang­don scram­bled out of the bushes, checked to see if any cars were com­ing and crossed the street. “Out of nowhere came a car and slammed into me on my left side,” he said.

Un­con­scious and not breath­ing, Lang­don was flown to Chil­dren’s Hospi­tal of Philadel­phia with head and leg in­juries.

“At the hospi­tal, I ‘died’ for a few min­utes, was brought back mirac­u­lously and ended up in a coma for three weeks,” he re­counted. “Un­for­tu­nately, I was left with a dis­abil­ity. My left hand was par­a­lyzed from the el­bow down.”

The or­deal, which took place 25 year ago, dev­as­tated him. In time, Lang­don learned to live with his dis­abil­ity.

“Yes, I have a dis­abil­ity and yes, it was un­wanted, but there it is. Ei­ther I give up or give it all I’ve got and do the best I can to be a pro­duc­tive mem­ber of the com­mu­nity,” said the now 34-year-old.

Born and raised in West Ch­ester, Lang­don was ed­u­cated in the West Ch­ester Area School District

and grad­u­ated from West Ch­ester Hen­der­son High School in 2000.

“The only thing on my mind af­ter grad­u­a­tion was ob­tain­ing my driver’s li­cense,” said Lang­don.

Soon af­ter, he be­gan vol­un­teer­ing at Fame Fire Com­pany No. 3 of West Ch­ester. “I didn’t get in­volved in the ‘fun stuff’ like fire­fight­ing,” said Lang­don. “My re­spon­si­bil­i­ties were fundrais­ing, wash­ing the fire trucks and main­te­nance.”

Tak­ing a sug­ges­tion from a friend, Lang­don de­cided to check out the Good Fel­low­ship Club of West Ch­ester.

Lang­don liked the or­ga­ni­za­tion so much that he in­quired about a pay­ing job. “I’m doing main­te­nance again,” he said. “A three-story build­ing will keep you busy; there’s al­ways some­thing to clean.”

For the past 14 years, Lang­don has re­mained a ca­reer/vol­un­teer mem­ber with the Good Fel­low­ship Club.

Ti­mothy N. Bossert, busi­ness direc­tor, praised Lang­don for his up­beat at­ti­tude. “Al­ways a smile on his face, ea­ger to do what needs to be ac­com­plished. He’s a good rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the or­ga­ni­za­tion.”

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

John Lang­don gets ready for work at Good Fel­low­ship Club of West Ch­ester.

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