Vaught's Views: Jacob Tamme continues to help others
Jacob Tamme, second from left, visited survivors of the Colorado theater shooting along with other Denver Broncos teammates. Tamme not only went to a hospital in Aurora Sunday, but he also visited a Denver hospital Monday. Training camp started for the Broncos today. (Denver Broncos Photo / July 25, 2012)
For those of us who have known Tamme since he was a rising Little League star before he became a Boyle three-sport standout, all-Southeastern Conference selection at Kentucky and now a veteran NFL tight end, know about his character and willingness to put others first. He’s always been unique — talented, smart and caring.
His Swing For Soldiers golf outing has become a huge annual fundraiser for Homes for Our Troops, an organization that helps provide homes for wounded veterans. Tamme and his wife, Allison, even went to Evansville recently to help build one of the homes.
But he’s about more than planned caring. He’s spontaneous and understands quickly when he came help others as he did with Denver Bronco teammates after the senseless shooting at the Aurora (Colo.) theater.
Tamme was one of five Denver players to visit wounded survivors at the Medical Center of Aurora Sunday and also thank hospital staff for doing their jobs so well in the crisis.
A day later Tamme was at the Swedish Hospital in Denver with six teammates that included former Wildcat Wesley Woodyard and former Louisville star Elvis Dumervil to again do what they could to help victims and their families.
"It's important to me and it's important to all these guys," Tamme told the Denver Post. "It's been a neat couple days in the middle of a very tragic situation."
Just following Tamme on Twitter during his hospital visits was inspirational. Here are some of his posts:
n “Wow. I’ve got to tell ya, that visit was simply incredible. Had no idea what to expect walking in those doors. But the staff, victims, & families were so impressive. The loss of life is so tragic, but the spirit, resolve, & gratitude in that hospital was just awesome. So many amazing stories of heroism.”
n “A man shot in the leg telling the story of the 17 year old girl who stopped as others ran by & used her belt as a tourniquet on his leg. Nurses bragging on doctors, & doctors bragging on nurses. One doctor had no time to wait for an OR & began surgery in middle of the ER. Another victim and his friend jumped on the friends wife, and he took a bullet in the arm and leg. Met all 3 of them. Just incredible.”
n “Still some in critical condition, but amid all the chaos at Aurora Medical that morning, no loss of life… Outstanding job. One of their folks told us they started multiple surgeries within 10-15 minutes of a victim coming in the doors.”
n “Haven’t even mentioned a guy most of you have seen on tv, Steve, who was on the cross country bicycle trip with his buddy. They were on an overnight stay in Denver preparing to cross the Rockies. He was shot in the neck. Now they plan to come back next year and finish the trip, hopefully raising money for charity. I was getting chills during our whole visit with them. Bottom line, this is still a tragic story due to the awful loss of life. But it was great to see these folks who showed such courage. and, for a couple hrs in that hospital, no one spoke about a madman, but instead they told the stories that give u faith in humanity.”
n “Another good visit. Saw some folks that still need thoughts & prayers for their recoveries, multiple surgeries still in front of them...”
n “Enjoyed meeting another hospital staff that should be recognized for the great work they're doing at Swedish Medical.”
Just guessing that a lot of folks who met Tamme felt the same way about what he’s doing and enjoyed meeting him as much as he enjoyed being there for them.