Sole plane crash survivor Hannah Luce of Teen Mania Ministries continues to recover after a five-and-a-half hour skin grafting surgery earlier this week, stated her father Ron Luce on Wednesday.
Luce was scheduled for another, perhaps final, skin grafting surgery on Thursday, with the anticipation that she may be transferred to a hospital in Dallas for rehab within about 10 days.
"Thank you all for praying for Hannah – I can't tell you all how much it means," Ron Luce stated on his blog. "The doctors said she did very well, and they did a lot of skin grafting. The whole process causes extreme pain for her, so since the surgery, she has been pretty heavily sedated. She is on a ventilator again and for the next couple of days, and tomorrow (Thursday) she goes in for another skin graft surgery. We think that may be the last one she'll need to have."
On May 11, Luce was onboard a small plane when it crashed in a field and burst into flames, killing four of her friends. The group of five were on their way to Teen Mania's final Acquire the Fire event of the year in Council Bluffs, Iowa.
Details of the crash are still under investigation.
Three of the persons on board – Garrett Coble, Stephen Luth, and Luke Sheets (pilot) – died at the scene while a fourth – Austin Anderson – escaped with Luce and managed to reach a road and call for help. Anderson died the next morning, having sustained burns to his lungs and 90 percent of his body.
Luce, 22, is recovering from burns on 28 percent of her body. Surgeries for skin grafts began last week.
Her father stated in his "Reflections from a Hospital Room" blog post that he marveled at all the time, energy, and investment it takes to sustain and help patients such as his daughter to recover.
"I'm thinking about all of the people over who-knows-how-many years who have spent their lives doing research, and then refining their research, and about all of the money and time coming to bear right at this moment to restore Hannah's health," Ron Luce wrote.
He stated later in the post, "I thought, what a vast juxtaposition. People who don't even know these patients value them so much that they would give their life's work, their careers, their money, and their passion to save the lives of strangers. And yet, so many people live without purpose and without making any kind of contribution. Even though their lives have been valued by others, they don't value it themselves. They merely exist."
Christians should be able to see the metaphor clearly, he said.
"God so valued us that He made a huge investment in us to save and restore our lives … As I think about this, I'm inspired to live a life that is more worthy of the sacrifice and the value that was placed on me. We could never live up to the value that was placed on us, or the whole sacrifice that was given for us. But at least we could attempt to live in a way that demonstrates our deep appreciation of the value God places on us."
Hannah Luce recently graduated from Oral Roberts University and has been on staff with Teen Mania since January. Teen Mania is one of the largest Christian youth ministry organizations in the country.
Separate memorial services were held last week for the four young men who died in the crash. Sheets was 23; Luth, 22; Coble, 29; and Anderson, 27.