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Seventeen-year-old Jack Thomas has been through a lot more than your typical teenager.

The teen was just about to start Grade 12 this year when he lost part of his right arm in a conveyor belt accident at work. As an avid drummer who plays for a band, the loss was absolutely devastating.

“Music is my life,” Thomas told CTV Vancouver. “All I could think about was how was I going to adapt, how am I going to figure out how to get my life back on track.”

To Thomas, that meant getting back behind a drum set. Fortunately, he had already been a huge fan of one-armed drummer Rick Allen of Def Leppard. As a result, the Port Coquitlam teen had actually practiced the art of one-armed drumming before the accident even occurred. Now, with the help of a special drum kit, Thomas hasn’t even missed a beat.

“You’d think he was an able-bodied drummer,” Thomas’ music teacher Steve Sainas said. “He’s compensating so fluidly.”

His classmates have been so blown away by Thomas’ progress, that they organized a benefit concert that was held last night, with Juno-Award-nominated Vancouver band Hey Ocean putting on the headlining act.

“They’ve all worked hard throughout this entire thing,” Thomas said. “This accident woke everybody up and made everybody realize that you can do anything you want.”

You can check out some of Thomas’ skills in the video above.