SOUTHAVEN, Miss. (BNC) — The board of directors of the Gospel Broadcasting Network released the following statement May 10, on their Facebook page.

On May 6, Don Blackwell and his wife Sheri were involved in a 4-wheeler ATV accident while they were in Salem, Va., where Don was holding a gospel meeting. They were both transported to a hospital in Roanoke, Va., for treatment. Thankfully, at no time were either in critical condition or suffered any brain injuries.

Don shattered his T8 thoracic vertebrae in the accident. He underwent surgery on May 7 to stabilize the area and prevent any further damage. During the surgery, it was noted that there was significant injury to the spinal cord.

Sheri suffered an injury to her T12 vertebrae, but thankfully without nerve damage. She will be in a brace for several months while she recovers. Her injury will limit her ability to care for Don in the short term.

As is typical for spinal cord injuries, it often takes many months before the complete extent of the injury or healing is known. There are many uncertainties and much difficult rehab and therapy involved. We want to do everything we can to encourage and help Don and Sheri through this process.

The Board of Directors of GBN has committed to working with Don through his injuries. He will remain as the Executive Director of the network and will be involved in the operations of the network as he is able. The Board has complete confidence in the management team and the staff of the network to continue operating in this manner.

The Southaven congregation has set up a fund to help the Blackwells with their medical expenses. Contributions can be made directly to the congregation or through a FundRazr account set up for this purpose. (FundRazr is similar to GoFundMe, but has some advantages for us as a nonprofit.) For those who prefer, checks can be sent to the Southaven church of Christ, earmarked “Blackwell fund.”

We ask for your prayers for Don and Sheri as they navigate this difficult situation. We ask for your prayers for GBN and the Southaven congregation, where Don also has a significant role as a preacher and an elder.

According to a Facebook update from Don’s son, Don “had surgery and is in excruciating pain. He’s currently in the hospital in Roanoke, Virginia. He should get transferred to Shepherd Center in Atlanta. He will be there for probably 3 months.”

In two days 55% of the projected $100,000 has been contributed by 399 donors.