In 2015, a 6-year-old boy named Luke and a friend were left unsupervised in a golf cart while playing at a friend’s house. The golf cart tipped over, pinning Luke to the ground. When his dad arrived at the hospital he was told, “Luke has been in cardiac arrest for 7 minutes. He has suffered head and chest trauma.” Life changed that afternoon in July for the Siegel family. Just twenty days before the accident Tim Siegel, Luke’s dad, resigned as the tennis coach at Texas Tech (where he had been the past 23 years) to spend more time with his wife Jenny and their four beautiful children. Luke spent the next six months in extensive treatment, brain surgeries, and therapy. Luke’s MRI was so bad the neurologist told the Siegel family that Luke would never use his voice or his limbs. “My little Luke was the greatest fighter I’ve ever seen,” says Tim Siegel. The Lubbock community stepped up and supported the Siegel family after the accident. “Fight Like Luke” and “Pray for Luke” became regular phrases in the town’s vocabulary.
In 2008, an 11-year-old boy named JD suffered an anoxic brain injury from a non-fatal drowning incident in a hot tub. The family saw “life as normal” change that Saturday afternoon as they and their four children faced the uncertainty of life ahead. As JD underwent extensive treatment for his injuries over a 6-month hospital stay, the community stepped up and supported the family both financially and emotionally through financial support and prayer. “Pray, Pray, Pray for JD” and “Hope4JD” became the slogans of these support efforts.
As JD began treatment, his family struggled with the lack of information and guidance, as well as the mounting expenses for items such as house renovations, transportation, medical equipment for their home, and recovery-based therapies not covered by insurance. They received significant financial support from their community and a decision was made to form Hope4JD (later to become Hope4Minds) to help families experiencing the same struggles. Approved in December 2011, HOPE4JD (dba HOPE4MINDS(2015), later to become Team Luke Hope For Minds(2018), is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization (Tax ID #32-0351208) that supports families with children who have suffered an acquired brain injury.
In 2017, Tim Siegel met with Ronda Johnson in Austin to learn more about Hope4Minds. Immediately after that meeting, Tim knew the impact they could make together to support other children like Luke and JD. In 2018, the two organizations merged to create Team Luke Hope For Minds. We currently serve more than 700 families across 45 states. To learn more about our impact, click here.
In August 2021, our beloved friend and hero, Luke Siegel, gained his wings after complications related to COVID-19. The outpouring of love, prayer, and support across the nation has been overwhelming and a testament to the incredible impact Luke made on the world. Luke was able to inspire thousands without ever saying a word. His legacy lives on each and every day as Team Luke Hope For Minds continues to enrich the lives of children with brain injuries by giving hope to their families through support and education.
“JD is doing really good,” said John Hartman, JD’s father. “He has recently started putting words in context when a person can’t understand him. It is amazing that he is still making progress in his recovery after 14 years,” said John.