Accident Victim Returns Home

Accident Victim Returns Home

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Shelley Osterloh ReportingThis Memorial Day weekend will be one to remember for a Davis County Family -- a child that was nearly killed in an auto pedestrian accident is home from the hospital.

Three weeks ago 9-year old Ben VandeGraff was crossing the street in a crosswalk when a car ran the stop sign and pinned the child against another car.

Ben's older sister: "Our emotions have gone up and down as his progress has gone up and down. But overall we are so grateful and excited he is back."

At first it didn't look like he would survive --- he had far too many serious injuries -- but he has. And he returned home this week to a big welcome.

Family, friends, neighbors, class mates -- they gathered with welcome home signs and giant get well cards. They have spent the last three weeks hoping and praying for Ben VandeGraaff.

Tiffany VandeGraaff, Ben's Sister: “Initially we had prayers of pleading and asking. And now we have prayers of gratitude and thanks.”

Ben's classmates tried to help too.

Donna Johnson, Ben's Teacher: "The week after the accident they made cards, we did a book of stories about Ben, we read a book on tape for him so that while he was recovering he could do some things with the school."

And finally their wait was over. The nine-year old boy who was crushed between two cars was home from the hospital. He sustained head injuries, a total of 12 broken bones, and multiple internal injuries, but he is recovering.

Wayne VandeGraaff, Ben's Father: "Thank you for being here guys. I gotta tell you, one of the most wonderful memories that Vicki and I have of everything that has happened with Ben was when we were up there in the surgery waiting room and we heard that you folks had met together to pray for Ben. That meant the world to us."

The family says they've had an outpouring of support, gifts, meals and encouragement from their Woodscross friends and neighbors. The special welcome home made Ben feel better.

Vicki VandeGraaff, Ben's Mother: “He was so afraid to come home because people wouldn’t like him because of his scars, but I don’t think he needs to be afraid of that anymore.”

Ben still has a tough year of rehabilitation and recovery ahead of him, but his prognosis is good. His family says Ben has the kind of inner strength and determination that will pull him through. They are grateful he is alive, and for support of so many.

Wayne VandeGraaff: “Bless everyone of you for your prayers and taking care of the family. And Ben is back, isn't that wonderful!"

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