EJ Senior doing better

Parents giving update on Parker’s condition

BUNKERTOWN – On the morning of Sept. 29, 2017, B. Lee Hunter drove to hospital knowing her 18 year-old son, Austin Parker, had just been struck by a car while riding his bicycle to school.

As frightening as the unknown was at that moment, Hunter told the congregation of Bunkertown Church of the Brethren yesterday, “God spoke in my ear…He said, ‘Everything will be ok.'”

Parker, a senior at East Juniata High School, was hit along Route 35 not far from his school during the busiest time of the morning.

In the months ever since, various fundraisers have been held, and Hunter, along with husband John Hunter, have been updating friends and family as they could on social media.

The couple stood before Bunkertown Church of the Brethren this weekend to thank Parker’s church family for their prayers and to give an update on his condition.

“The power of prayer does wonders,” B. Hunter told the congregation, adding Parker has undergone many surgeries and has been in a rehabilitative facility since October 31.

Speech has been a problem, she said.

“His thoughts don’t come out like ours. He gets very frustrated and agitated.”

B. Hunter said Parker’s communication right now is repetitive sentences. He will say what he hears.

“We come in and say, ‘Hello.’ He will say, ‘Hello.’ We will say ‘How are you?’ and he will say ‘How are you?'”

Another challenge has been getting his core muscles to cooperate. B. Hunter said he can now sit five minutes without support. Recently his mom and two nurses held onto the young man and helped him stand to his feet with their support.

“It was the most amazing feeling to be a part of it,” she said.

These are victories the family holds closely. B. Hunter said their son now sits in a regular wheel chair after months in a reclining wheel chair. Parker is learning to push his own wheel chair with his left arm. He has not regained use of his right arm and leg at this time.

Currently the family is awaiting word on future surgeries to fuse a disc in the spine and what the next step will be.

“Our journey is a very long one,” B. Hunter said, adding her son is not able to receive visitors yet, and she asked that friends and family be patient.

Four months have gone by since B. Hunter heard that voice during the longest drive of her life.

“It’s like He (God) was right there beside me,” she said of the moment.

Those words, and the many prayers, have been keeping the family strong as they cheer on Austin Parker.

“Everything will be ok. God said so,” B. Hunter said, and then walked from the podium.

John and B. Hunter also ask that anyone who witnessed the accident on Sept. 29 to contact them. Their phone number is (717) 463-2764.

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