Fall lands Coupeville pastor in Harborview Medical Center
By NATHAN WHALEN
South Whidbey Record Whidbey News Times
August 21, 2012 · Updated 2:51 PM
Pastor Garrett Arnold is spending his wedding anniversary in Harborview Medical Center recovering from injuries he sustained in a serious fall Friday afternoon.
The respected pastor of Living Hope Foursquare Church in Coupeville broke his back after falling about 25 feet down an embankment Friday morning in Ledgewood.
Arnold is currently in stable condition in the hospital’s intensive care unit, said Suzanne Zetter, treasurer at Living Hope Foursquare Church. She said Arnold suffered several broken vertebrae which surgeons had to fuse together during surgery Friday. She said its expected he will be hospitalized for about a month.
“The family is extremely grateful of the outpouring of the community’s love and prayer,” Zetter said Monday morning.
She said well wishers from churches from across the country and as far away as Australia and the Netherlands have sent thoughts and prayers to the Arnold family.
“It’s been powerful,” Zetter said. Comments from well wishers have also been flooding the church’s Facebook page. To see updates about Arnold, go to Living Hope in Coupeville on Facebook.
Arnold has been senior pastor at Living Hope Foursquare Church, located near the intersection of Broadway and Highway 20, since 1997. He came to Whidbey Island in 1994 to serve as associate and youth pastor at Living Hope.
Arnold and his wife, Sylvia, celebrated their 24th wedding anniversary Monday. Garrett’s family was with him at Harborview over the weekend.
On Friday morning, Arnold was trimming grass near an embankment in the Ledgewood area when he fell approximately 25 feet and was stuck there for nearly three hours before a woman walking on the beach discovered him. Arnold fell around 10:30 a.m. and firefighters weren’t called until 1:21 p.m.
He was eventually transported by ambulance to the Greenbank Farm where he could be airlifted to Harborview.
Zettle said the guests at Harborview are limited to family.
People can get involved in supporting the Arnold family as Garrett recovers from his injuries.
A special worship service is scheduled for Wednesday, Aug. 22, from 7 to 8 p.m. at the Coupeville church. Special worship services will take place each Wednesday through September.
A special fund, is also being set up at People’s Bank where folks can donate to help offset the significant medical expenses the Arnolds are sure to incur. People can donate to the F. Garrett Arnold Benefit Account at any People’s Bank branch. They can also drop off a donation at the church office.
In the meantime, church staff is pulling together to ensure services and programs continue, Zettle said. Service took place Saturday with Ron Eerkes, associate pastor of Grace Community near Oak Harbor, preaching. He is scheduled to preach again Sunday.
Living Hope Foursquare Church is also transitioning to its fall schedule and will offer two services, one at 9 a.m. and one at 11 a.m. starting Sept. 2.
Staff Reporter Justin Burnett contributed to this story.
Contact South Whidbey Record Whidbey News Times Nathan Whalen at email@example.com.