OLDHAM COUNTY, KY (WAVE) - An Oldham County man turned to woodworking after a loss of his own, and is now using his talents to pay tribute to an LMPD officer.
“It starts coming to life and it’s like wow!” Mike Thomas said.
Thomas picked up woodworking after his father passed away. He said his father was often in the workshop building something.
About five years into creating a new passion of woodworking, Thomas had an accident on a tractor on his property, causing him to receive a severe traumatic brain injury in 2016. He was in coma for a week and a half.
“I’ve got my pain,” Thomas said. “I’m dizzy all the time, and my memory is awful. But I’m alive.”
He said after surviving the accident, he wanted to show people that anything is possible.
“We can do it,” Thomas said. “Just because we have this injury or disability, live your dream.”
Thomas said since his traumatic brain injury, his creative mind is always at work.
“Things come to me like a vision of what I need to do,” Thomas said. “I look at what I’m able to do, it’s a God-given gift.”
When Thomas heard LMPD Detective Deidre Mengedoht was killed in a crash on I-64 on Christmas Eve, he immediately knew what he needed to do.
“When I saw what happened, it devastated me,” Thomas said. “I saw the image of her standing by the flag and I just, I had to do it.”
Thomas also found out his oldest daughter went to high school in Oldham County with Mengedoht.
“The badges and the buttons—it’s the exact same image,” he said while looking at the finished product.
Thomas created a wooden plaque to be a replica of a picture of Detective Mengedoht, in hopes that it would help her family in their time of grief.
“I know her son is young, but he won’t be young forever,” Thomas said. “It might mean something to him one day.”