JACKSONVILLE (FBW)—Five-year-old Ben Bowersox was in worship July 6 at the South campus of First Baptist Church in Jacksonville. July 13 he beamed and waved when his dad, Steve Bowersox, the executive pastor of worship at First Baptist Church in Jacksonville, pointed to him from the platform at the front of the massive downtown church where he was happily leading worship.
At the airport, Ben and his twin sister Brooke were with their father, a pilot, and playing around when he got caught in a cable on a motorized hangar door.
Following the accident, he was transported to St. Vincent’s Medical Center Southside, and then immediately flown to Duke University Med- ical Center in North Carolina for surgery to repair his arms and hands, and to re-attach the fingers.
Prayers began to pour in from around the world almost immediately. A “Pray for Ben” webpage was set up on the First Baptist website and the church family and friends were given updates via Facebook and social media.
At the hospital Steve Bowersox stayed by his son’s side. He prayed and soothed. He posted messages and pictures to Facebook. Hundreds of people—over a thousand at some point—posted “Likes,” well wishes, and prayers. There was good news—and bad. Multiple surgeries, skin grafts, and septic shock.
On Father’s Day, June 16, Bowersox wrote: “Ben is fighting his way back & Dr’s are trying to stay out of the way! God is healing him! I’m sure Mon AM we will establish a plan.”
Finally, Bowersox posted to Facebook the message many were waiting to hear: “We are leaving our Duke home of almost 8 weeks. We have had an incredible journey. Pain, sorrow, laughter & joy. We made some in- credible friends that showed the very best of mankind in a horrible situa- tion. Ben & I are extremely grateful for all that everyone has done for us. May The Lord Bless you abundantly. Until we meet again. For now, we are Jacksonville bound!”
After nearly two months in the hospital and multiple surgeries and setbacks chronicled in local news reports and on the various social media— a smiling Ben waved his bandaged arm at television cameras during worship July 13.
The congregation gave him a standing ovation. Despite a valiant attempt by doctors to reattach them, he lost four fingers on his left hand.
Steve Bowersox’s wife, Kathy, died of cancer two years ago. The twins have a 16-year-old sister, Rachel.
A timeline of events, as well as comments and prayers, are posted online at www.fbcjax.com. An email, firstname.lastname@example.org is also in place for the family to receive prayers and words of encouragement. A fund to help with the cost of medical bills and rehabilitation of Ben’s hands and arms has been set up at https://www.giveforward.com/fundraiser/53d2/pray4ben.
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