On the Net
Visit Jacob Helvey's Caring Bridge site online at www.CaringBridge.org/visit/jacobhelvey.
A 3-year-old west Forsyth boy's struggle has inspired others to join forces in prayer to help save his life.
Jacob Helvey remains in the intensive care unit at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta-Scottish Rite. He is being treated for injuries suffered Dec. 24 when he was pinned by an elevator inside his family's Upland Court home.
Judy Oshinski, a friend of the child's mother, started a Web site for Jacob.
She's been spreading the word about the boy with help from Ally Ponte and Michele Owen, neighbors of the Helveys who organized a worldwide prayer vigil for Jacob on New Year's Eve.
"The more prayers that are out there the better, so that's why I'm doing what I can to help get the word out," Oshinski said. "It's just a precious family."
The online site, which is on CaringBridge.org, has drawn more than 30,000 hits. Oshinski and others have posted updates there about Jacob's condition.
The boy apparently suffered oxygen-deprivation and doctors reportedly think he may have some brain damage, though it's not clear how much.
The site also allows people to leave notes offering encouragement to the family.
Ponte said that while she and the Helveys share some close friends in the Westbrook subdivision off Kelly Mill Road, she doesn't know the family well.
She explained how through a social networking site the women have been able to reach out to people all over the world and tell Jacob's story.
"I just thought so many people can see it that I would start sharing that this has happened to a friend in my neighborhood and I was independently trying to spread the news so that people would pray for them," Ponte said.
Owen was also concerned about the Helveys and was considering a prayer vigil when she saw one of Ponte's posts on the site.
"I just called her immediately and said I have an idea I'd like to share with you," said Owen, adding that she asked Ponte to help spread the word.
The two women crafted a letter that explained Jacob's plight and encouraged the recipients to take a moment at 11 p.m. New Year's Eve to pray for him.
Their plan worked.
"It's just wonderful just to know everybody got to be a part of it," Owen said. "Everybody got to put their hands together and feel with the family."
Owen noted their efforts wouldn't have been successful had their neighbors and friends not helped get word out.
Oshinski said she and the other "prayer warriors" plan to continue encouraging people to ask for help from above.
"That's the main objective is to get more people out there praying for him because we just all feel miracles can happen and that's what we're all hoping for," Oshinski said.