LIVING AND THRIVING WITH TRAGEDY

Flipped Triumph Over Tragedy

Welcome to FlippedStory.com, an online resource provided by Tommy Van Zandt and Robyn Van Zandt, and Vicki and Mark Saviers. You are invited to watch the video featuring Tommy’s story of living and thriving after suffering from a spinal cord injury that left him a quadriplegic. You are also encouraged to explore our growing resources section, including the new book Flipped, written by our family member and friend, Mark Saviers, with reflections by Robyn and Tommy Van Zandt.

 

Welcome, and thank you for letting us be a part of your journey as we share ours.

If you or a loved one has recently been Flipped, please feel free to explore our Resources

FLIPPED

How One Man’s Fall Became a Story of Surrender, Faith, and Hope

The moment when your life is “flipped” is often just that, a moment. What happens in an instant can turn your life and that of your family into something you never expected and certainly didn’t ask for.

 

When Tommy Van Zandt fell from a ladder in February 2009, the accident didn’t just flip his world – it flipped the world of everyone around him. In an instant, a 49-year-old man who seemed to have it all – a loving wife, two wonderful sons, a thriving business, a beautiful home, and a close-knit extended family –  himself immobile on the ground, his neck broken, and his next breath very much in doubt. He was certain death was at his door.

 

Flipped tells the story of how God helped Tommy survive and then thrive, while also working in and through the lives of Tommy’s friends and family. What they found was something unexpected – that the greatest blessings of life aren’t always delivered as the answer you sought in deep, sincere prayer.

 

When you read Flipped, you will learn:

  • How to trust God in the most uncertain and difficult circumstances
  • How to experience the blessing of surrendering to God rather than fighting for the illusion of control
  • How to overcome feeling “chained” by the effects of a disability or illness in your life or the life of a loved one

 

This is truly a story of faith, family, friends, and community coming together to create triumph over tragedy.

 

Flipped is available for purchase NOW!

All sales proceeds for the sale of the book are being donated to The Van Zandt Family Trust.

When an unexpected tragedy strikes, raw questions always stalk the victims: ‘How do I process this, make sense of it, and hardest of all, work my way through this darkness?’ The best answer is, not without help. And help is what my friend Mark Saviers so insightfully offers in Flipped. Please know there are no pat answers here. This is a riveting story of honest struggle for real answers in the midst of heartache and pain. The good news is Mark delivers real answers. Real answers that will encourage anyone who has either suffered a tragedy personally or been tied tight to one as a family member or friend. I highly recommend it!

Dr. Robert Lewis

Author, Pastor, Founder-Men’s Fraternity

As a medical oncologist, I have seen lives flipped on a daily basis for 30 years. Whether suddenly getting a cancer diagnosis or falling from a ladder with resulting quadriplegia, life is immediately redefined. What Tommy and company show us through his powerful and compelling story, becomes the best practical manual I’ve ever seen for what to do when tragedy strikes. The personal courage that comes only from the confident knowledge that God’s love is magnified by difficult circumstances, is personified through Tommy as he becomes a beacon of light to all who come in to contact with him. The joyful sacrifice of his wife, Robyn, family and friends, in whom God’s love and purpose overwhelm anger and resentment each day, show us exactly what Christ had in mind for being his heart on this earth. Anyone thrown into flipped in their own life will find reading this book is an incredible guide to glorifying God, understanding His love in tragedy and demonstrating the very nature of victory through faith, hope, and love.

Dr. Lawrence Mendelsohn, Medical Oncologist

Founding Medical Director of The CARTI Regional Cancer Center, Little Rock, AR

Flipped is a firsthand account of the far-reaching effects of a catastrophic injury to the entire family. It is a story of perseverance and courage. It is a journey of faith and trusting that God is present during the most chaotic of times. While this offering centers around Tommy, it also details how roles in the family change in order to survive the challenges of a spinal cord injury. It is a reminder that we are to live out Jesus’ calling of loving our neighbor even when it disrupts our daily lives.

Candi Boyd, MDiv.

Chaplain, Craig Hospital

I have been privileged to know Tommy for forty years. I have never seen a more heroic, loving person, who genuinely cares more about everyone else than he does himself. God has given him peace. And God has given him purpose. If you need hope, read Flipped. If you need inspiration, read Flipped. If you want to see a wife, sons, family and friends trust God through indescribable adversity, read Flipped. Most of all, if you want to truly see God at work, read Flipped!

David Roth

President and CEO, Workmatters

Tommy Van Zandt’s accident could have broken his family into pieces. Instead, it pulled them together. This book provides a unique and raw perspective on how God can turn tragedies into triumph.

Stephen R. Graves

Author and Founder of Coaching By Cornerstone

Tommy and Robyn Van Zandt are bright lights shining in a world that needs much more illumination about things that really matter. In business and community life, their passion for excellence and love for others truly sets them apart and inspires the rest of us to live and lead as they do. When I am in need of perspective and wisdom, I often find myself calling upon Tommy and Robyn. Now their invaluable teachings are available through this book and will provide a roadmap for many others to follow.

Elise Mitchell, Chairman, Mitchell Communications Group

CEO, Dentsu Aegis Public Relations Network

Thank you for asking me to read this powerful and moving account of God working in and through tragedy. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, if I recall correctly, said, ‘Christ never calls a person but what he calls them to come and die.’ This is a phenomenal story of selfless love and devotion by an entire family in Christ. It is a powerful, moving, and real-life testimony to God’s mysterious ways of loving us and guiding us to love and stand alongside one another.

Jim Daniel

Brigadier General (Retired) USA, Chairman, Darby’s Warrior Support

I could not put this book down. From the first word to the last I found the book to be gripping, authentic, and honest with stories shared from the heart about dealing with a spinal cord injury. Flipped will help families navigate those first few days while in shock as well as the long-term plans that will need to be addressed. Most of all this book shares hope reminding us that miracles from God to happen—the true miracle is the Spirit and Strength God gives us all to face each day. God’s steadfast love endures forever.

Cindy Burns, M. Ed.

Counselor, Shepherd Spinal Center 1982-85

I marvel at Flipped for its inspiration, humor and courage, as well as the riveting stories of life’s vicissitudes in the face of tragedy. The utter dependence on God’s grace shines brightly from these pages. I read it through the lens of a father who has experienced the ravages of the opioid epidemic, which recently claimed the life of our precious youngest son and has wreaked havoc on another. This account of how Jesus, family, and community guide us through unspeakable hardship will be a profound blessing to many, as it was for me.

Rainer Twiford

Founder and President, Brookline Investments

When I picked up 'Flipped' and started reading the first few pages, I ended up staying up until the wee hours, getting up early in the morning, staying home (including putting a conference call on mute) and finishing it. I couldn't put it down. It is an inspirational story of tragedy & the will to live--engulfed with faith, family, fraternity, and friends. And I must say, I was touched by the candid, honest and sincere commentary--showing the high's and low's of those living through it. It is so real that at times I felt like I was in the room with the Van Zandts and Saviers.

James L. 'Skip' Rutherford III

Dean, University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service

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