Grace Pastor Seth Hanchey of Ruston, LA was 17 years old at the time of the accident. He was serving as a full-time youth pastor and had just started nursing school due to his passion to help others. He is the son of the founder and overseer of Power Church International in Monroe, LA, Bishop C.T. & his wife, Kimber Hanchey. He was an avid athlete and had begun training for the Ironman Triathlon. He enjoyed rock climbing, Parkour (free-style running) and cycling. On September 28, 2011, he was on a 60-mile bicycle ride when he was struck from behind by a van driven by a 81-year-old woman. He struck the hood and windshield, caving it in. He was then thrown over 167ft, landing against a concrete guardrail. He was airlifted to LSU hospital in Shreveport for emergency surgery to remove the left side of his skull because of the swelling of his brain. Upon arrival he was at ground-zero. We were told “He came as close to death as you can go without going," and later found out he actually died twice at the scene of the accident.
The left side brain damage caused right side paralysis (which was his dominant side). Seth also sustained many fractures. He suffered many setbacks and remained in the acute stage for three months. On Christmas Eve, that all began to turn around as he began to make progress. While in the hospital for five months, he could only communicate by signing 'yes' or 'no.' After 10 months, he was able to text minimally. Though he was not able to write, at that time, he did begin making progress in his speech.
We fully believe he will regain all of this over time. He has already come so far in his recovery and proven the doctors wrong in their prognosis. He is a living, breathing miracle today and proof that you CAN overcome if you just keep fighting. Seth's favorite thing to say was always, "Pain lasts for a moment, but quitting lasts forever so PUSH through it!" His dad said it well when he said, "Seth, you marched across the Valley of the Shadow of Death and walked up to the door of death and carved 'Seth was here!' and lived to tell about it."
He is doing something they said he would never do... Running! The nurses nicknamed him Ironman due to his strong will and determination to beat the odds. I think that's fitting especially since he is now training on the same bike he was hit on, determined to compete in the Ironman Triathlon no matter how long it takes!