ST. GEORGE – Ben Wolverton, 16, of St. George, was involved in a longboarding accident last week that resulted in him being flown to Las Vegas with severe head trauma. His family does not have medical insurance and an online fundraiser has been established to help cover medical expenses.
The accident occurred the night of April 3. St. George Police Sgt. Sam Despain said two teenagers were longboarding on the path alongside state Route 18 when the accident occurred around 8 p.m. One of the boys had gone ahead, while the other boy who stayed behind fell off his longboard and suffered severe head trauma and other injuries. Following the accident the boy was airlifted via Life Flight to University Medical Center in Las Vegas for emergency treatment.
The morning following the accident, David Farland, Ben Wolverton’s father, told friends and followers on Facebook that his son was the one involved in the accident. He described that the part of the path his son and his friend came across was steep and difficult to manage on longboards. Ben’s friend, the one who had gone ahead, turned back to warn Ben about that part of the path but by then he had already fallen off his board.
“Apparently, Ben was thrown forward and rolled head-over-heels several times,” Farland wrote on Facebook. “That’s why he crushed his skull (down near the hind brain), and then hit his back hard enough to bruise his lungs, then broke his pelvis/crushed his vertebrae, and so on. Beyond that, he has bad ‘road burn’ on his knees, shoulder, back, hips, and so on, and a split lip. With the concussion, his ear drum broke, and he lost a lot of blood through his left ear and again through his nose.”
Farland has posted Facebook updates on his son’s condition since the accident. Since arriving at UMC in Las Vegas, Ben Wolverton has gone through at least one brain surgery and his vital signs are improving according to his father’s updates. He has remained in a coma since the accident, however.
The estimated costs for Ben Wolverton’s medical expenses are unknown at this point, and his family does not have medical insurance. To help cover the cost an online fund, “Ben’s Recovery Fund,” has been established where people can make donations either in name or anonymously. The target amount is currently $200,000. Nearly $9,000 has been raised as of Monday morning.
Since its creation, family, friends and Facebook followers of Farland have taken the link to his son’s recovery fund and have plastered it on their own pages and related online communities.
Farland is a fantasy and science fiction author who wrote the “Runelords” series, “Star Wars: The Courtship of Princess Leia,” and numerous other works under the names of David Farland and David Wolverton. One of his latest books, Nightingale, is set in Southern Utah. He also offers tips and workshops to aspiring authors through his personal website.
To those who have spread the word of his son’s situation and links to his recovery fund, Farland wrote on Facebook that he has been touched by the kindness of strangers.
“Thank you, people, for your kindness,” he wrote.
April 10 Book bomb
A “book bomb” event has also been put together for Wednesday, April 10. According to the event’s Facebook page, a book bomb is described as “an event where participants purchase a book on a specific day to support the author, or in this case, a young person in serious need: Ben Wolverton.”
Two of Farland books, “Nightingale” and “Million Dollar Outlines,” are the titles offered during the book bomb. All sales for there titles will be donated to Ben Wolverton’s recovery fund.
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