By Drew Bergman
Saturday afternoon posts began to crop up across Facebook with messages of hope, love, and prayers for ACHS junior Brice Starks. Earlier in the day Brice had been involved in a severe ATV accident and had been taken by life flight to the University of Louisville Hospital.
While Brice’s major organs are in good working order, he sustained significant injuries to his lungs which required he be placed in a medically induced coma to help with the healing.
Brice continues to improve day by day with the health and care of the doctors and nurses at U of L hospital and with the prayers and support of the Adair community.
“The biggest thing is that Tori, Savannah, and I have just been overwhelmed by the support of the community, Lindsey Wilson College, and everybody who’s reached out on Facebook or through the texts and calls,” said Chris Starks, Brice’s father and Lindsey Wilson’s men’s varsity assistant and head junior varsity basketball coach. “We knew Brice was popular, but we didn’t realize that he’d touched so many lives.”
The Starks family is originally from Kansas, but the outpouring of support in Adair has illuminated the extent to which they have all been embraced here in south central Kentucky. “It’s definitely made us know that we are a part of this community and Brice is such a huge part of this community,” Chris said. “He loves Adair. He loves Columbia. This will be his home forever.”
While Brice is under care, his mother Tori, has been sharing with him all the love that has continued to pour in. “His friends are sending videos and voice messages and we’re playing them to Brice, and we know without a doubt that it’s helping so much,” Chris said.
“I’m reading all the Facebook posts to Brice and everything that everybody sends,” Tori said.
Several people here and in Kansas have set up support opportunities for people looking to help out. There is a GoFundMe at https://www.gofundme.com/f/hadvkc-starks-strong that has been set up by the Starks family members back in Kansas with a goal of raising $10,000 dollars to help with the medical bills and treatment.
Locally, Rhonda Loy and Makayla McCloud have come together to create #StarksStrong t-shirts for sale through Rhonda’s Facebook page. The first order attracted over 100 people buying over 200 t-shirts in support of the Starks family.
Amy Keys has set up an account for donations for the Starks family with United Citizens Bank on behalf of Adair County Boys Basketball. UCB will accept any donations into the account and checks and other monetary instruments should be made payable to ‘Brice Starks Donation Account.’ People looking to donate through UCB can also mail their donation to Amy Keys at 402 Merchant Street, Columbia KY 42728.
Traci Pooler has started a prayer chain on Facebook to encourage people to set alarms for the 24th minute of each hour to lift up a prayer for Brice and his family (Brice’s basketball jersey number is 24).
“We are so thankful for Amy, Rhonda, and Traci for everything that they’ve done,” Tori said.
Traci Pooler has also reached out across the Adair basketball community to create a video for Brice and his family, including a message from Adair varsity boys coach Deron Breeze who had this to say about his young player:
“He is one of the toughest young men I have ever been around. Brice is more than a teammate; he is a vocal leader and sets an example with how hard he plays. He is an excellent classmate and a friend to everyone, and everyone is pulling for him to make a full recovery and live a normal life for the next 75 years.”
The whole Starks family is filled with gratitude for the help and support they have received at the beginning of this long road to recovery for Brice.
“Don’t stop praying for him,” Chris Starks said. “My wife has told everyone to be brave and to keep praying because we know that they are giving Brice strength. He is fighting hard and it’s giving our family so much strength.”