*Story by Randy Sarvis
WILMINGTON, Ohio - The Wilmington College community is rallying around one of its own after learning that sophomore Kane Lewis suffered a spinal cord injury this weekend in a hunting accident.
More than 200 students, faculty and staff members gathered for a prayer vigil at the College's bell tower Monday morning at the hour he was to enter surgery.
Lewis reportedly suffered a seizure causing him fell from a tree stand while hunting this weekend. He is at a hospital in Huntington, WV.
Lewis shared a post-surgery message on his Facebook page Monday evening: "Surgery is over, still paralyzed. A lot of hard work ahead. A lot of therapy and pushing myself to the limits. I appreciate everyone who prayed for me; you all mean so much to me."
His mother, Shasta Lewis, confirmed that prognosis, stating her son emerged from a complicated surgery Monday learning that his spinal cord was severed and he's paralyzed from the waist down. She noted that he was able to sit up in a chair for 30 minutes Tuesday morning, a significant feat occurring less than 24 hours after his surgery.
Lewis is a sophomore from West Portsmouth majoring in agriculture business. Also, he is a member of Farmhouse Fraternity and the men's lacrosse team. He was pictured on social media in his hospital bed holding his lacrosse stick with his #28 jersey spread across his blanket. His fraternity brothers started a GoFundMe account to assist the family with expenses: https://www.gofundme.com/f/fundraiser-for-lewis-family.
The campus' response to the tragedy is continuing with a letter-writing campaign, video messages for Kane, and time and space for prayer and reflection led by campus minister Nancy McCormick.
She told the campus community, "Prayers of love, comfort and encouragement are needed for Kane, our WC students, his family and those who are caring for him at the hospital. Please continue to hold Kane Lewis and his family in your loving circle of comfort and care."
On Thursday, the swim team is sponsoring the "Kane Lewis Hour of Power," an annual fundraising event this year dedicated to the WC student-athlete. From 5 to 6 p.m., a swimming relay featuring swimmers of all levels will continuously swim laps and raise money for the cause.
Also, the lacrosse team plans to sell "WC Family: Kane Strong" T-shirts later this week. Also, at the vigil, many signed a WC blanket to send with friends visiting the hospital this week.