Todd Shea: The Improbable 3QD Commenter

Now that Todd (The Improbable American) Shea is rivaling Aguy109, Fred Lapides, Dave Ranning, and Carlos (:-)) for frequency of commenting at 3QD, I thought I should post the story which accompanied the video about him that I had posted a couple of days ago. This is by Adam B. Ellick in the New York Times:

Todd Mr. Shea is an unlikely person to reform Chikar’s decades of medical neglect. When he was 12, his mother died of a Valium overdose. By 18, he was addicted to crack cocaine.

In 1992, he moved from his native Maryland to Nashville to pursue a music career, he said, and spent the next decade playing in bars and restaurants around the country. At one point, he was forced to sell his own blood plasma for $40 a week to pay the bills.

He moved to New York City in 1998, and had a gig booked at CBGB, the famed music club, on Sept. 12, 2001. As he watched the World Trade Center burn and fall, he said, he promptly emptied his band van and used it over the next week to ferry meals to firefighters at Ground Zero.

He soon became addicted to rescue efforts, and volunteered in Sri Lanka after the 2004 tsunami. It was his first time overseas. After Hurricane Katrina, he said, he volunteered with another rescue organization. Then the earthquake hit Pakistan, and he left for a country he knew nothing about.

Once in Chikar, he met a local M.B.A. student, Afzel Makhdoom, who had just dragged his aunt out from under the rubble of his home. As soon as he could scrape together the money, Mr. Shea hired him.

“I had never met an American before,” said Mr. Makhdoom, now 24. “My first impression was: They just want to kill Muslims; it’s an invasion, and they’ll never go back home. But now we want to keep this American here.”

More here.