Union College student Heather Boulais is in critical condition after falling 23 feet during a Wednesday night Gymnaires practice, but has made a few small improvements according to a family spokesperson.
Boulais was reportedly wearing a safety harness while attaching her aerial silks to the Union College gymnasium ceiling during a routine practice. She landed partially on a mat and was rushed to an area hospital.
KETV 7 news reported that the Gymnaires met last night to talk about the accident. Their next performance is scheduled to take place in about two weeks. They believe Boulais would want them to carry on.
Hundreds of students gathered Thursday morning at the Union College campus to pray for the 23-year-old senior elementary education major. Counselors have been on hand to offer support to those who need it.
Union College has continued to update its website with sporradic progress reports as information becomes available. So far there hasn’t been much to report.
The incident is still under investigation, however the Union College gymnasium has since reopened after being closed Thursday.
News of Boulais’ accident has spread across social media, and many of Union College’s sister schools have spoken out to lend their support.
La Sierra University posted on their Facebook page earlier this morning: “There are many ways that the Seventh-day Adventist colleges and universities in North America compete with each other: for students, for faculty members, for donations and support. But there are also times when we stand together as the family we truly are, like today. The entire La Sierra University community offers our prayers for this student-athlete at our sister school in Nebraska, Union College. May God’s healing hand be on the situation.”
The Student Movement, the official student newspaper at Andrews University, posted a link to the news broadcast summarizing Boulais’ condition.
Pacific Union College also posted on their Facebook page: “As Union College gathers in their church in Lincoln, Nebraska, now to pray for the student injured last night, we join them in prayer, together lifting up the student, their family, and the entire Union College community.”
Many use the hashtag #UnionUnited or #UnitedinPrayer to help connect a community of prayer warriors for Boulais.
Emily Wood, a Union College student and writer for Union’s College’s official news publication The Clocktower, wrote this on her Facebook page following the accident: “Please pray for my fellow Unionite. We are a family, all God’s children. And when one sibling is hurt…we all hurt. #UnionUnited.”
The Union College Gymnaires Facebook page has also been flooded with kind words and prayers from people across the United States.
Phyllis Fields-Conley posted, “Praying for the entire team and especially Heather and her family. God is the great physician. He will carry you all through this.”
Dorothy Nesmith wrote yesterday about hearing the ambulance as it came to the Union College campus. “We were in prayer meeting last night at CVC and heard the sirens,” she said. “We had prayer for ‘whomever is in need’ as we saw the ambulance head to the hospital. Please know that our prayers continue. God is amazing! Never give up faith in His power.”
Chuck Henry posted, “As with all of the others our heart and prayers will continue to go up for Heather. I kept thinking about it last night and my heart also especially goes out to the team. It’s very hard to see a member of the Gymnaires’ family hurt, and my prayers are for all of you as well.”
Union College president Vinita Sauder made a statement on the Union College website concerning satefy. “Student safety is our highest priority and we are in the process of reviewing what happened to determine the cause of the fall. We will do everything possible to ensure something like this doesn’t happen again.”
Rachel Logan is a writing intern for Spectrum Magazine.