Nov 05, 2013 Jason Emerson Uncategorized
Approximately 200 members of the Cazenovia community attended a prayer service and candlelight vigil last week for Charlie Thompson, the 10-year-old boy who remains in stable but critical condition in Golisano Children’s Hospital after falling down a well on Oct. 26.
Family, friends and supporters of Charlie of all ages — including many of his classmates and teachers from Cazenovia Middle School — turned out to the service, which was held at the First Presbyterian Church of Cazenovia and led by Thompson family friend Rev. Ethan Worthington, Cazenovia regional minister for Eastern Hills Bible Church in Manlius.
“When I asked the Thompsons what they needed, they said the only things they needed from us was to be praying for Charlie,” Worthington said at the beginning of the Oct. 30 service.
The community members filled the pews and were even standing along the sides and back of the church as Worthington said prayers and read from selected Psalms. Many attendees bowed their heads and closed their eyes while offering silent prayers to Charlie and his family, while soft music played throughout the church.
After about 20 minutes of prayers, Worthington lit a candle, which he used to light candles held by people sitting in the front pews. The candles — which were handed out to people as they entered the church — were then used to light the candles held by people in the pews behind them. Within minutes, that single flame turned into multiple flames, the church lights were turned off and the soft, golden glow of about 200 candles filled the church.
“We light these candles to represent the life that we know burns inside Charlie, and as a token of our love and a symbol of hope that burns against all odds,” Worthington said. “Let this fire be a sign you want life to burn in him.”
The Thompson family and close friends have been updating the community daily on Charlie’s condition using the website thompsonfamilyupdate.wordpress.com. While the Thompsons remained with their son at the hospital and did not attend the prayer service, Charlie’s mother Rosemary wrote on the blog, “We were very humbled to see pictures of the vigil and know that there are so many sharing time, love and energy with Charlie.” She added that the Tibetan Healing Monks — who have been traveling around Central New York in recent days — visited Charlie in the hospital and offered a healing service “which was uplifting and soothing for everyone.”
Family friend and blog monitor Juliane posted on Oct. 30 just two hours after the prayer service ended, “Thank you so much to all of you who came to the prayer vigil tonight! We are blown away by the amazing community we live in and the way that you all support each other.”
She wrote that the family’s WordPress webpage had received more than 10,000 views in the few days it had been active, “and that in itself is powerful and something positive for us to focus on.”
Thompson remains in critical but stable condition today at Golisano Children’s Hospital after falling down an 18-foot well on Saturday, Oct. 26, while playing hide-and-seek at a Halloween party. Thompson, who sustained major internal injuries but only minor external injuries, is making slow but steady positive improvements and “continues to impress the doctors with his strength,” said a blog post.
As of Sunday, Nov. 3, the family posted that Charlie “has made rapid improvements and has dramatically surpassed expectations,” but had hit a small setback after developing a minor bout of pneumonia.
“The nurses and doctors are amazed that a small 10-year-old boy can take enough sedative to last two hours and wake up after 10 minutes! Repeatedly! Charlie is strong, determined and pushing himself to recover. The rest of us are trying to keep up with him,” according to the Nov. 3 post.
The WordPress website will continue to be updated with information on Charlie’s condition, and as of press time the family was requesting no visitors, phone calls, texts or emails, the website states.
The Thompson family has received a large outpouring of support from the local community and people around the area, and anyone wishing to communicate with the family or find information about how to sign up to make food and donate money to them should go online to the WordPress website, Worthington said.
People also can leave cards or gifts that they’d like brought to Charlie in Worthington’s mailbox at 4228 Palmer Road, Manlius, Worthington said.
An account with Lotsa Helping Hands (lotsahelpinghands.com/looking-for-community) also has been created for the family. Anyone who would like to help by donating food or any other gifts, leave a comment with your name and email address so you can be added to the invitation list. As comments are approved, email addresses will not be made public.
For more support, people may also contact Worthington at Ethan.Worthington@easternhills.org or speak with one of the Cazenovia school district counselors: Mary Horan, Burton Street Elementary at firstname.lastname@example.org or Jennifer Glasgow, middle school counselor 655-1315.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican and Eagle Bulletin newspapers.