Local Folks: Concluding the Tim Jones story

Published 10:54 am Friday, January 26, 2018

Editor’s note: This is the third and final installment in the Local Folks series on Tim Jones.

Tim Jones had a decade-long and storied career as a Capitol Police officer before his life was put on hold by the brutally harsh disease TTP — which is a rare blood condition that is unpredictable, hard to treat, and can easily prove fatal. TTP stands for thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura. In TTP, blood clots form in small blood vessels throughout the body.

Jones’ first bout in the hospital was beyond trying, as it took doctors a very long time to give Jones and his family a diagnosis. Once the diagnosis was determined, the doctors began in earnest to treat the illness with plasma infusions to get Jones’ blood platelet levels up to normal. After weeks in the hospital, Jones was discharged to go home. He was able to settle in at home for a time until the TTP came roaring back with a vengeance, resulting in another extensive residence at the hospital.

One of the treatments Jones was undergoing along with the plasma transfusions was chemotherapy (his doctor had arranged for Jones to get a room at a cancer treatment center). Even though he did not have cancer, the drug used for Jones in the chemo was used to treat TTP as well as certain types of cancers. On top of how terrible Jones felt with the TTP and the plasma transfusions, he had the side effects of chemotherapy to contend with as well.

After this last round of treatment was successful, Jones found himself home again. He describes his weakness from the illness and the treatment as so severe he couldn’t dress himself and needed help using the bathroom and bathing. It’s at this time as well that the memory issues started to really settle in. One of the symptoms of TTP is stroke, and Jones had suffered from strokes when the TTP first cropped up. He states in the book “God’s Mighty Warrior,” by Dusty Caudill, that he would look at photo albums and recognize the people, but recalling events was impossible. He stated he didn’t even remember his own college graduation.

Memory is something that continues to be a struggle with Jones. Sometimes a certain phrase or image can momentarily wake a memory in his mind, only to disappear shortly after.

Throughout his battle with TTP, Jones recounts his struggle with faith. In the book, available on Amazon.com, he details numerous dreams, visions and encounters he had that reaffirmed his faith as a Christian.

In 2013 Jones had a third relapse with TTP where he was once again in extreme life threatening danger. He had to continue with plasma infusions and chemotherapy. Between 2013 and 2015, Jones had a total of 12 chemo treatments, which at the time had bumped him up to 21 chemo sessions total. During this two year period of chemo and plasma infusions, Jones recalls that his faith had been reaffirmed anew, and was what got him through.

Today, Jones is still going strong. The TTP always has a chance of coming back, but he does not let that weigh him down.

“I believe this is like a little journey I’m going through and through my faith I’m going to be healed someday…it’s something that I think one day is going to change,” said Jones.

He continues by stating that he would live his life that same way all over again, knowing how he would end up in the end.

“There are people out there who will never, ever have the chance I had…I’ve got to achieve every dream I’ve wanted to,” he said.