The near-death and new life of Will Boggs, 2005 crash survivor
By MICAH HENRY
Until this month, the last The Times had heard from Alexander County resident Will Boggs IV, he was 15 years old and recovering from debilitating and traumatic injuries he’d sustained in a crash in Florida on a trip with family to visit his grandparents.
Now, at 33, the father of two (and one on the way) is thankful for the chance to be a dad, husband, son, and to share how the Lord has blessed his life.
The day that changed everything
On March 26, 2005, when Will’s family vehicle was hit by a tractor trailer, his brain stem was disconnected from his brain by the impact. Mrs. Boggs was also in the vehicle and daughter Casey, 19, was driving. Denise suffered some cuts and bruises. Casey had facial lacerations that required surgery. Emergency responders at first found no vital signs from Will.
One rescuer, whom Denise only knew as Jimmy, told her, “I saw the hand of God come over your son. I’ll never be the same.”
Will was airlifted to the Jacksonville (FL) Trauma Center. Doctors told his mother that Will would die. Denise proceeded to do what she knew best, which was to pray for healing.
Miraculously, by the third day, Will’s brain and brain stem had reconnected. Doctors were baffled. Denise was seeing the healing hand of God work in Will’s broken body, she was sure. But Will lay in a coma in the hospital.
Will stayed 24 days in the Florida facility, in a coma the whole time. A medical transport plane then took him to Charlotte, where he stayed 50 days in the hospital. Statesville Christian Academy staff and students raised $8,000 to fund the medical flight to Charlotte.
The family, Will’s school teachers, classmates, and perhaps hundreds of others kept praying for Will’s recovery.
For a total of 40 days, Will was in a coma. Denise kept reading Scripture over Will and praying for him. She quoted Isaiah 55:11, “So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.”
On Day 40, young Will woke up.
Doctors told Denise and her husband, Lee, that Will wouldn’t ever be able to walk or talk. However, the Lord had other plans.
“He learned to talk again, to walk again, and to drink again,” Denise told The Times in 2005. He was able to walk out of the rehab center in Charlotte in June 2005.
“It really and truly is a miracle,” Lee said that summer.
Lee and Denise Boggs went on to start Living Waters Ministries in Hiddenite to help others learn how to receive healing of the heart from a troubled past, as each had blamed the other for Will’s accident.
Will finished high school in 2008 and gave his seniors a graduation speech. This year, fifteen years later, Will again gave a commencement speech at his alma mater.
Today, Will is a father
Not only does Will walk and talk, he went on to attend Liberty University, where he met his wife, Mariah. He graduated in 2016, the same year the couple married. They live in Hiddenite and have two daughters, Elizabeth, 5, and Elianna, 2. A baby boy is due in September.
Today, Will is able to run long distances. “I went from a kid running through the back yard at home in Stony Point to a wheelchair,” Will said. “I was paralyzed. I prayed for the Lord to let me run again.”
Now, Will is able to run even such lengthy events as 50 kilometer races and the difficult Vertical Mile Challenge (held here at Rocky Face Park in Alexander County).
He has a ministry with public speaking engagements, telling others how the Lord has brought him through difficulties. He has written a book about his journey, titled Unshakeable Destiny: From Tragedy To Triumph.
Will explained the name of his ministry, The Awaken Movement.
“When I first came back to high school after the accident, I saw kids impacted by it and the face that two other young men at the school had been in accidents and lost their lives. Students were sad. I feel like God brought me back to awaken my generation, to tell them about the love of God, and that God is real,” Will explained.
He referenced a passage quoted in a book by author John Piper, “Only one life, ’Twill soon be past; Only what’s done for Christ will last.”
When Will spoke to his alma mater, he urged students to live their lives without regrets but to not squander these early years in their youth.
“God’s purpose for our life will never change because of what we go through,” Will said.
He also told the graduates of his layers of anger, unforgiveness, and bitterness which he had to pray about and work through — forgiving his sister for being the driver, forgiving the truck driver for hitting their car, forgiving his dad for not being on the trip with them, forgiving his grandfather for suggesting the alternate route they took on which the crash occurred.
“As Will forgave,” his mother said, “I watched it happen, he regained more movement in his paralyzed side.”
People are crippled in fear right now, Will and Denise explained. “The body of Christ [the church] needs awakening now, America needs awakening now,” he said.
Readers can learn more about Will on his website at TheAwakenMovement.com.