Tom lived with his parents in May, Oklahoma. His father never really had any time for his mentally handicapped son and was verbally abusive toward him, but his mother loved Tom very much and it was from her he gained his loving, gentle nature. She helped shield Tom from his father and later on, the school bullies that would inevitably pick on him.

While not a star student by any means, Tom tried hard at everything he did. Even if he did not succeed, his enthusiasm for life never wavered. He tried hard at school, but being barely literate, he struggled and earned certification equivalent to grade 3.

Taking everything in his stride, Tom gained employment on a farm as a general handyman where he put his size and physicality to good use doing manual labor. His mother was very proud of her son, a hard working lad who had never let anyone hold him back from enjoying life.

A few years before the super flu, Tom’s father left the family to run away with a waitress called DeeDee Pickalotte. Tom’s mother was broken hearted by this and eventually died of the super flu. Tom did not show much of a reaction to his abusive father leaving, but does mention the fact he left his mum for some waitress a lot. His mother’s death had a bigger affect on him and he buried her himself in the back garden, under her favorite tree.

Slowly all the residents of his hometown died of the super flu, leaving Tom alone. Far from getting down hearted, Tom took to his art, dressing up mannequins, stuffed animals and generally decorating the town in artistically unique ways, while gaining supplies, food, etc from shops and houses. Eventually, Tom made his first proper friend in the shape of Nick Andros, the first person after his mother, and to a smaller part his employer, to accept Tom for who he was, quirks and all.