When the World Stopped for Jack

This is a touching story of a little boy’s tragic accident, a parent’s worst nightmare, the church worldwide uniting, and God’s mercy and grace to answer the prayers of His people. This is the story of Jack Budensiek’s last four weeks in the word’s of his aunt and uncle, Jon and Jessica Duren:

Sometimes, something happens that is too wonderful to keep quiet.  While I usually do not share personal stories, I feel this one is appropriate to share with you, my newsletter readers.   I asked my wife, Jessica to share with you this story of my sister’s son, my nephew, who is currently at St. Mary’s Intensive Care Unit.  This traumatic event has blessed my life and helped me to better focus on what is most important.   I trust it will encourage you to do the same.  Here is my wife, Jessica, telling you the story that I title: “When the World Stopped for Jack.”  

On June 28th, around 10:30 pm, the ambulance was called for our 5 year old nephew, Jack Budensiek.  He had climbed up on a very heavy piece of furniture and it had fallen over on him, crushing his skull between it and the tile floor.  He was flown, by helicopter, to St. Mary’s hospital and the prognosis that was delivered was not a good one.  His skull had multiple fractures and his brain was bleeding and swelling.  Due to the CT scan, the doctor told Jack’s parents that he would very likely die or have severe brain damage.  Doctors started the process of drilling a hole into his skull to release pressure, and inserting a tube to try and stop the collecting of blood in his brain.

Almost immediately after the incident happened, hundreds of people heard the news due to a post sent out over Facebook, urgently requesting prayer for Jack’s life. People immediately began praying.  When the doctors finished the surgery, they were more hopeful for Jack.  They were still unsure of many things, but they were not as negative as they had been before they started the surgery.  We were all still very worried and traumatized, but were thankful we had been given more hope.  It was an answer to prayer for everyone.

After a couple of days in an induced coma, he was taken off of his medication and he seemed to be improving quite remarkably according to the doctors.  They told us he was a miracle.  They had not seen anyone there in that hospital, who had ever had those kinds of fractures to the skull, actually survive.  He began talking and moving around and even began walking.  They moved him out of ICU because he seemed to be doing so well.  We were all so thankful!  The hundreds of people who first started praying for Jack, literally had turned into thousands of people all around the world.  They were all still praying for Jack, and we all thought that he would probably get to come home fairly soon.

Then, the following Wednesday, one week and one day after that traumatic event, his mother went racing down the hall asking nurses for help.  Jack was screaming in pain and holding his head.  When the nurse came in and gave him pain medicine, he didn’t keep it down, so they tried another form to help.  His mother then tried to hold him to try to comfort him.  As she was holding him, Jack’s body grew stiff.  His hands and arms folded inward, as sign of a seizure, and his legs and feet were pointed straight.  He then flat-lined! (This was actually his second time to do so since his accident.)  Everything had stopped!  The doctors all rushed in to revive him and rushed him down to do another CT scan.  They discovered he had a massive blood clot on his brain, so he was rushed in for emergency surgery!  The doctor removed a blood clot that was three times the size of the doctor’s fist.  He could not, however, find where the blood was coming from, so he just removed the clot and closed up Jack’s little head.  He then sadly came and apologized to Jack’s mother and father, John and Ada, saying he was sorry he could not have done more for their son.  He said he did not believe Jack would ever wake up from this surgery; at best, he had a 20 percent chance.  This was devastating news!  Doctors were once again puzzled.  They had not seen something like this occur after that amount of time.  Usually, after 24 to 48 hours, things like this would happen, but not after a week!  Hearts were broken as we were all dealt another very hard blow.

However, we all kept praying.  Those thousands of people who were still helping us pray for Jack, once again, began to urgently pray and ask God to please spare Jack’s little life.  They set up a “prayer chain”, meaning there was at least someone, if not many, literally praying around the clock for our sweet Jack.  The doctors told us that the next 3 to 5 days were critical.  Waiting, especially to parents who were unsure if their little boy would ever come back from this horrible nightmare, was simply agonizing!  They prayed until they no longer could, and the thousands of others who were praying then carried all their needs to our Heavenly Father for them.

When the doctors started to take Jack off of his medications to see if there would be any response, they were still very unsure that he would wake up.  Jack woke up!  An incredible answer to prayer!  That, of course, did not mean everything was fine.  He still was on a breathing ventilator and doctors were not sure if when they took it off, his brain would connect with the function that would cause him to breathe on his own.  When they took him off the ventilator, he started breathing on his own 100 percent!  Another wonderful answer to prayer!  Jack then opened his left eye.  His burst pupil, which had occurred because of the blood clot, seemed to be recovering!  Doctors were also encouraged that he could see out of both eyes, even though his right eyelid was paralyzed and he could not open that one.  He would also move his little arms and legs at times.  These were small steps, but also small miracles.  Jack could not talk or communicate in any way.  We could not tell if anything registered with him or if he recognized anyone.  He was on a feeding tube, and you could tell by his facial expressions and small moans that he was in a lot of pain.  

Everyone continued to pray, and the number of people praying increased daily!  Then, 10 days after his second surgery, Jack’s mother, Ada, posted this message on Facebook to all of those who had been praying:  

“This is the most thankful mommy and daddy in the world right now, reporting from the hospital!  We just saw the most beautiful artwork in the WHOLE WORLD!  Our little boy, who had 20 percent chance of ever waking up, and who has basically died twice, just WROTE HIS NAME!!!!!!!!!!!!:) and drew a snowman:)  I was so excited, I even did a jumping jack for him so he could see how excited I was, and John ran out to see if the neurosurgeon was still here to show him!  We asked God for a miracle today, and some reassurance that Jack was ‘in there’ (along with all of you) and He gave it to us!  God is awesome!  To God be all the glory for this HUGE REASSURANCE today!!!!!!!  Praising God at St. Mary’s:)”

That evening, and all through the night, people specifically prayed for Jack’s speech to return.  The very next morning, after Jack woke up, he said, “Mommy, hold me.”!  His speech improved little by little!  What incredible “first words” for a mother to hear!  

Jack still had a feeding tube because he had failed many “swallowing tests”.  Everyone prayed, and asked for that specific answer to prayer.  Today, Wednesday, July, 20th, Jack not only passed the “swallow test”, he ate almost an entire large order of french fries and three chicken nuggets!  After he had eaten that, he asked for a cheeseburger!  His daddy, John, went and bought him one, and he ate half of that as well!

I will never be able to say enough about God’s unbelievable mercy, power, and love He has shown, to us, in Jack’s situation.  This is truly only a short summary of all that has occurred in the last, almost 3  and a half weeks.  The amazing group of people from all denominations, who have united together to pray, are still continuing to do so for little Jack.  Countless people have helped and given in so many ways to Jack and our whole family.  We could never say “Thank you” enough for what they have done and are still doing.  If you would like to see a history of how these people have shown such incredible support to us, you can visit the “Praying for Jack Budensiek” page on Facebook.  There are over 3500 “friends”, many who do not even know us, that heard of Jack’s accident and began to help pray for him.

This is just an incredible miracle that has happened in our lives, and we cannot sit by, and not tell everyone we can about it!  We could never praise God enough for His many blessings, and especially for little Jack, right now!  There really is power in prayer, and we truly receive strength when we lean on Him, Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  We know this to be true, because this is something we have experienced. Thank You, Lord, for Your many answered prayers, for the incredible God You are, and that You have made it known to many.
Thank you for allowing us to share this wonderful story with you.  May it encourage your heart as it has our own.

Jessica Duren


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