Missing flood victim leaves long lasting gift - WKRN News 2

Missing flood victim leaves long lasting gift

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Danny Tomlinson was last seen on May 1 before being swept away by floodwaters in Bellevue. Danny Tomlinson was last seen on May 1 before being swept away by floodwaters in Bellevue.
Jose Lovato was working as a cook when blood clots and stress forced doctors to amputate his leg. Jose Lovato was working as a cook when blood clots and stress forced doctors to amputate his leg.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A Pegram man, presumed dead following last month's flood, has left a lasting legacy.

Danny Tomlinson, 39, was last seen on May 1 before being swept away by floodwaters in western Davidson County.

His car was recovered a few days later but his body was never found.

Before he went missing, Tomlinson helped set up the gift of a prosthetic leg for a man with no insurance and no ability to pay for it.

Jose Lovato was working as a cook when blood clots and stress forced doctors to amputate his leg just above the knee.

Tomlinson entered Lovato's life just as he was looking to start anew.

Both men attended Highland Park Church in west Nashville, where Dale Robble is pastor.

Robble knew them both, and knew Lovato needed a leg and that Tomlinson worked for a company that makes prosthetic limbs.

Robble asked Tomlinson whether his bosses could help, and Tomlinson asked his bosses.

"He said, 'We've got a church member who's had an amputation,'" Terry Tate from Applied Orthotic and Prosthetic Associates recalled.  "'He's a young man who needs a chance with a prosthetic, can you help him out?'"

A basic prosthetic leg costs between $10,000 and $15,000, according to Tate, and his company decided to cover the entire cost because it was Tomlinson who asked.

"Although Danny was a person who always wanted to help everyone, he would not have asked us if we could help Jose if it wasn't going to be something that would give him an opportunity to progress in life," Tate said.  "That's the kind of person Danny was."

Fitted with the prosthetic leg, Lovato walked down the aisle of Highland Park Church the Sunday after the flood and asked about the man who helped change his life.

Pastor Robble told him the sad news that Tomlinson was one of two people still missing in Davidson County following the record rainfall and flooding.

"It was devastating," Lovato said.  "I didn't know what to think.  Even though I didn't know him well, my heard just went thump.  It just fell.  Danny was just… He'd give you the shirt off his back.  He'd jump in the river to save you if he could.  He'd give you his all.  He has opened up a lot of opportunities for me.  I just hope I don't let him down."

Tomlinson's family and friends have scaled back their search for Danny.

A memorial service for him will be held Sunday at 5 p.m. at Highland Park Church, located at 5710 Knob Road off White Bridge Road.

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