This past Friday night my son Dakota jumped up to save a basketball going out-of-bounds. It was a simple hustle type play that is often made during a basketball game. The only different to this maneuver was that Dakota came down on his ankle wrong, very wrong. In this one bad fall he broke four bones in his ankle and damaged his growth plate. It required surgery and will take at least 8 weeks of recovery and some physical therapy. His mother and I spent Friday night in the hospital and most of the day Saturday until he was discharged and we could go home.
Many of you know that part of the story but I want to share “the rest of the story.” My wife was talking with Dakota last night and he wanted me to write a blog for him. He wanted everyone to know how he was blessed through this experience.
First – People immediately began to pray for him. Within minutes of the news the emails, texts and Facebook posts came rolling in of people who were telling me of their prayers. Before I left for the hospital at least a dozen people said their family would pray.
Second – People immediately volunteered to help our family. I was offered rides to the hospital. Meals for my other children and any type of childcare needed. People were willing to come to the hospital. Numerous people offered their help.
Third – People contacted Dakota and showed him so much concern. Phone calls and texts came from people to Dakota asking how he was doing. People he never would have thought cared about him suddenly were asking about him.
Fourth – People were giving to him. We received a meal, and he personally got cookies and he even received a gift bag. It made a 14 year old boy feel like a king.
Fifth – People were generally concerned for him. On Sunday morning people continued to ask Dakota about his status and how they could help. He did not feel like anyone was being forced or fake. He was overwhelmed that people cared so much.
While Dakota has experienced a great amount of pain over the past 3 days in his ankle the love and support he has seen in his Church family has been uplifting. All of his brothers have said somewhat jokingly that they hope they break their leg someday. Honestly, I know they do not want the pain but they are jealous of the way Dakota has been treated. That is really a good thing.
I know when I write something like this there will be people reading it who say, “That was not my experience with the Church.” “No one ever treated me like that when I was hurt.” I truly am sorry that was what happened to you. The Church does not always get it right. But when the Church does get it right it is a beautiful thing to watch.
I often tell people that Church is not just about what you are personally experiencing. It is also about the experience you are creating. Thank you to those who made Dakota feel so special. You touched a young boy’s life forever.