By Thomas Grant Jr.
Prayers and well-wishes have filled social media in support of River Bluff Principal Jacob Smith and his family.
According to reports, they were vacationing on the Big Island of Hawaii on June 28 when their vehicle lost control, struck another vehicle before crashing into a lava wall.
On the GoFundMe.com page established by Elizabeth Bryan to raise funds to cover medical costs for the Smith family, all were first transported to the Hilo Medical Center. Both Jacob, who was treated for minor injuries, his wife Crystal, who suffered a concussion, and his sons Banks, who had an appendectomy and received a small lung laceration, and Jake, who had a vertebral fracture, were all discharged from the hospital.
Daughter Bekah suffered the most serious injuries. She was airlifted to Queens Medical Center on Oahu and admitted to the ICU unit. On Sunday, she underwent successful surgery to stabilize her fractured C1 vertebrae and protect her spinal cord.
On June 29, the church held a prayer vigil attended by close to 100 people was held at Radius Church in Lexington. Following the ceremony, Reeves said two church members had flown to Hawaii at the end of last week to assist the family.
The next day, Jacob sent a message to Lexington School District One through chief communications officer Libby Smith:
“I’m writing on behalf of your principal, Mr. Jacob Smith. He asked me to please express his appreciation for all the support, care and concern shown to his family. The support from home and in Hawaii has been overwhelming. The family is so grateful.
Also he wanted to let you all know two of his children remain in the hospital. The family continues to pray for a full recovery for everyone involved in the accident and appreciates your continued support.
As soon as he is able Mr. Smith will provide the RBHS family with a personal update.
In the meantime, we ask for respect for the family’s privacy. We want to help keep their focus on recovering from injuries sustained in a car accident that occurred far from their home while on a family vacation.”
On a Sunday Twitter post by River Bluff Gator Athletes, it offered thoughts and prayers for the Smith family and hoped for a successful surgery for Bekah. Chapin Eagle Club also sent well wishes on Twitter.
As of Monday, $30,875 has been contributed to the GoFundMe.com page with the goal of reaching $38,000. The family has also established a page for Bekah at caringbridge.com to provide updates and give well wishes.
Jacob Smith had just completed his second full year as River Bluff principal and has worked in the district for more than a decade.