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Hughson High accident victim had PRAYER OF CHANCE
Does prayer work? If you ask the relatives and friends of Caleb Lemings - indeed many in Hughson - the answer is a resounding yes.

Hours after numerous people gathered to pray for the 16-year-old in the parking lot of a Modesto hospital, the Hughson High School junior has made a full recovery from a grave accident which had the potential to take his life.

On Monday afternoon, Caleb was sore but watching TV at home. A nasty road rash decorated his burly football player arms.

"I'm good," said Caleb with a nod of assurance. "I'll pull through. Prayers helped a lot."

Days before his family members were not sure if he would be normal again, let alone survive.

Lemings had just finished football practice on the Huskies football field Thursday afternoon and climbed into the back of a pickup. He was on a cell phone when the driver lurched the vehicle and Caleb fell out, striking his head and upper torso on the pavement. Due to the severe trauma to his brain, Lemings became combative when others rushed to his aid. Paramedics deemed the trauma so serious that they called in Medi-Flight. The helicopter landed on the football field and whisked Caleb away to Memorial Medical Center.

Realizing the seriousness of the emergency, Huskies coach Reyn Franca called the players to hold hands and prayed for Caleb. It was the first of many prayers to come.

Caleb's head trauma went from a #2 level to the #1 level, the worst, said Sandra Lemings, Caleb's mother. Doctors told one of the first relatives on scene that Caleb could possibly expire in the hospital.

Emergency room doctors induced Lemings into a coma to reduce swelling on the brain.

The boy's grandfather, Harold Thompson of Hughson, did what he's done for years when facing trouble: He sought out the prayer of others. He ran across busy Coffee Road to Calvary Temple, where he found a youth group which was meeting. The group responded by going into a full-scale prayer operation, going to the hospital to form a prayer chain in the parking lot.

A huge circle of about 150 teens from Calvary and Hughson High and some adults mixed in held hands and prayed.

"Basically the kids did all the praying," said Sandra. "They were from all different churches. It was wonderful. It was just an amazing scene. I felt elated."

Doctors ordered an MRI and CT scans to determine the extent of the damage. Caleb remained in the coma overnight in the Intensive Care Unit.

On Friday morning, a group of Christian students on campus gathered to pray for the weekend Greg Laurie Harvest Crusade in Turlock.

Others from First Baptist Church gathered to pray for Caleb in the Lemings' front yard.

Doctors decided to bring Caleb out of the coma to see what might happen the next morning. When he came to, his brother, Kyle, asked Caleb how many fingers he was holding up. Caleb held up two fingers unable to speak because of the breathing tube down his throat.

"Then we were able to take the breathing machine off," said Sandra. "Then we rejoiced.

"We really believe the Lord answers prayers. God miraculous answered prayer. We're really grateful for such a wonderful community that we have that supported us."

Doctors have told Caleb that he cannot play on the Huskies varsity team this year, something he's not happy about. He was practicing to be the position guard and middle linebacker on the varsity team. Last year he was most valuable player for the frosh-soph baseball and football teams. As a consolation, Caleb was promised to be the one to take out the flags at football games and help motivate the team to victory.

Lemings will be cleared to go back to school after a follow-up checkup, said his mother.

"It was quite an event we will never forget," said Sandra.