Paragould's Power of Prayer

November 22, 2006--Posted at 6:05 p.m. CST

PARAGOULD, AR--This Thanksgiving season, five Greene County families are particularly thankful. October 27th a deadly car accident took the life of 18 year-old Shauna Kail and sent six others to the hospital. Five of the injured were Greene County Tech High School students.

Greene County Tech cheerleader Ginger Todd was enjoying an afternoon with friends when their lives changed forever.

"It's the call that you don't want to get. It's a call that takes your breath away, not knowing that you could lose your child. It is unimaginable," said Ginger's father Michael Todd.

Ginger was one of six people taken to the hospital following a two car accident. Now she is out of the hospital and in physical therapy. Despite what she has gone through Ginger's morale hasn't dropped, in part because of the support she has received from the community.

"There is no feeling like knowing someone genuinely cares about your well being," said Todd.

October 27th the community began rallying around the five students at the scene of the accident. Now, almost four weeks later, they are seeing results thanks to the power of prayer.

"The doctors have stated that we have done all we can do medically. Something is going on here. Keep doing it in Paragould, because we are seeing something that doesn't normally happen," said Todd.

"James says the prayer of a righteous man avails much or makes a big difference. We just decided it's in the Lord's hands and were going to let you do something special," said Packy Magel, student pastor at East Side Baptist Church.

Following the accident, the people of Paragould put the rivalry between Greene County Tech and Paragould High School aside and joined together at churches across Greene County for prayer vigils

"Oh man! I think it speaks strongly of the power of God. Prayer is just our ability to talk to him and then he is just concerned about people deeply," said Magel.

While four of the students are at home and recovering, a fifth remains in the hospital. Whitney Welchel is still in a coma. However, doctors say she is improving daily and is a showing signs she could soon come out of that coma. In addition, she was recently updated to stable condition.

The support of the community hasn't been limited to just churches and individuals. Bancorp South in Paragould has set up an account and is accepting donations to help with the medical costs of Whitney Welchel while in the hospital.