April 25, 2014

Jason’s Story

Jason graduated from Heard High School in 2005 as all of his classmates stood and cheered for him.

Jason graduated from Heard High School in 2005 as all of his classmates stood and cheered for him.

(Franklin) – A Franklin boy celebrated his 30th birthday recently on December 5, 2013. You would not normally think of a 30-year-old man as a “little boy” but that is exactly how Jason Tinsley appears to his mom Judy  in her eyes.

Jason was pretty much a normal little 8-year-old boy up until the night of August 6, 1992 when his life would be changed forever. Jason had dealt with some minor seizure problems before, but on this night — while playing his Nintendo video game — he encountered what later that night would develop into a grand mal seizure as Heard EMT’s rushed him by ambulance to Tanner Hospital in Carrollton.

His mom says that when Jason walked into her room earlier that night she could see a halo around his head, and that she knew something was terribly wrong. He was given several medications at the hospital to try and reverse his condition, but according to his mother, one of those medicines changed the course of Jason’s life forever.

Jason was given succinylcholine by doctors in order to intubate him to aid in his breathing but instead, says his mother, he had a severe allergic reaction and went into what is known as “malignant hyperthermia” as his body temperature rose to almost 108 degrees. His entire body was put on ice as he was rushed via life-flight from Tanner to Egleston Hospital in Atlanta.

Jason suffered renal failure and was in intensive care for six weeks and hospitalized for several more months before he was finally able to come home. His mom has had to take care of his every need since that night as Jason can neither talk nor eat on his own and makes very few movements. He has always been fed through a tube and as of three years ago has a colostomy bag.

Despite his condition, Judy says that Jason has been able to play a huge role in many people’s lives through his relationship with God. According to his mom and countless others, even as a young child, Jason always loved the lord. In fact, Jason attended the Church of God as a child even though his mother did not go to church.

Preacher Raines of the Church of God where Jason attended often said of the young boy that he “prayed like a grown person.” Jason often prayed that his mother would attend church with him and eventually she did and they were baptized together when Jason was still a teenager in his wheelchair.

“It is hard to believe how much Jason has gone though,” says his mother. “He was so full of life as a child — with his video games,  playing football outside in the yard, and he really just loved music. He also just liked to eat any kind of food — even vegetables and typical adult foods. He was so outgoing — he never met a stranger.”

Although Jason’s life has been very difficult (including undergoing seven major surgeries), he has always seemed to serve as an innocent bright spot in many people’s lives. His mom says that Jason has brought more people to the lord in his wheelchair than most regular folks do on their feet.

One person in particular who has always been one of Jason’s most fierce and fervent supporters is Mrs. Mary Nell Burden. According to Judy, the only time Jason ever raised his torso up off his bed by himself was when sister Mary Nell Burden came to pray with him when he was about 10 years old.

Jason's last school photo before his allergic reaction to the drug succinylcholine given to him during a grand mal seizure.

Jason’s last school photo before his allergic reaction to the drug succinylcholine given to him during a grand mal seizure.

About that same time, Mrs. Mary Nell says she saw a vision of Jason riding a bicycle. It hit so close to her heart, that she went out and bought Jason a bicycle that is still stored at his home.

Jason has made the most of his limited opportunities in life and even graduated from Heard High School at 21 years of age with the Class of 2005. He has also met several celebrities including Evander Holyfield.

“I get asked by so many people about Jason’s condition that I thought this would be a good way to tell his story to everyone,” said his mom when asked about sharing his story with our readers.

“My son has had a very difficult journey in life but I have no doubt he is one of God’s angels. I am so thankful to the many countless people who have offered prayers and support to Jason over these trying years.”


  1. We should all be more like Jason.

  2. Anna Kirkaptrick says:

    I love this!

  3. Jason will always be my “bubba”, my special little brother. I love him so very much.

  4. I just want to say to all the Mothers out there to hug your child often,you see life can change so quickly.This is my baby of 4, i love him very much & i have no regrets all these years of caring for him.

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