Summer 2024
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‘My Fourth Life’

After flatlining three times, Ben Wing is living life to the fullest By Brooklyn Chillemi and Chris Low

Ben Wing is starstruck. “I feel like a young kid meeting their favorite professional athlete,” he says. But Ben isn’t on a basketball court or football field. He’s in a Life Flight Network hangar, embracing the flight nurse who saved his life.

He shouldn’t be here. Less than two years ago, Ben was in a helicopter just like the ones in this hangar, being rushed to the hospital after a head-on collision about a mile from his family home. In less than 24 hours, his heart stopped three times. He took 29 units of blood. At least seven of his bones were broken.

Ben, who also suffered a traumatic brain injury, doesn’t remember much of that day – or the next 30-plus days after – but what he knows now is he shouldn’t be alive.

“By every medical standard, I should not have made it through that accident,” he says. “I’m incredibly blessed to be on my fourth life.”

After five weeks at the hospital, Ben was transferred to rehabilitation.

“My goal from the very start of rehab was to get as close to normal as possible, because my life pre-accident was so much fun,” he says. “I loved being on campus with all of my friends and faculty. I wanted to come back to George Fox really, really badly.”

At the beginning of rehab, his speech therapist said he could go back for one class in the spring, maybe two at the most. But Ben insisted he go back full time.

“I had so many plans,” he says. “I wanted to do all of them.”

Today, miraculously, the senior double major in management and marketing is doing just that. His first semester back, he earned straight A’s for the first time in his college career. Beyond academics, he’s involved in choir and theatre, and is fully immersed in his campus community.

“I believe God kept me around for a reason,” he says. Now, Ben is on a mission to live his fourth life to the fullest, and in the process, to find out why.

Watch video: Ben Wing, My Fourth Life
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Summer 2024 Journal Cover

Cover of Summer 2024 issue

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