By Paul Tennant
---- — NORTH ANDOVER — Tommy Cox, 10 years old and full of energy, was active in football, wrestling, lacrosse and other sports.
Earlier this month, however, Tommy’s athletic endeavors came to at least a temporary halt when he lost his leg in a boating accident in Laconia, N.H. He has been a patient at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, N.H., for the last few weeks.
Tommy’s parents, John Cox Sr. and Julie Cox, may need to renovate their home before their son returns, according to Selectman Terry Watson. Tommy faces a long road of surgeries and therapy, she said.
North Andover residents have already begun to rally to help Tommy and his family. A neighbor of the Cox family, Dina Pepe, and other friends are organizing three events to raise money for the family.
A Tommy Strong Night will take place at Jamie’s Restaurant, 25 High St., at some point in the near future, Pepe said. A portion of the receipts from that event will go to help the Cox family. A date will be announced, she said.
Another fundraiser is being planned for the Stevens Estate, which is owned by the town.
A Run for Tommy will be organized in the spring, Cox said. It will most likely be a 5-kilometer run, she said.
“I plan to run for Tommy,” she said.
On Friday night, the North Andover High School Scarlet Knights are dedicating their football game to Tommy, his recovery and his family, Pepe said.
For more information on how to support the fundraising efforts for Tommy, visit tommycox.com. Tommy Strong T-shirts have already been printed and sold, Pepe and Watson said.
Tommy had just started fifth grade at Sargent School when the accident happened. His brother John Cox Jr., 12, is in seventh grade. Tommy also has two younger siblings, Charles and Rachel.
“Tommy and his family are very special folks going through an incredibly hard time,” Watson said.