Archer Senft, a 17-year-old student-athlete at McDonogh, had his life changed forever on August 5th of this past summer when the Roland Park native broke the C5 vertebra in his neck while swimming near his vacation house and workplace in Cape May, NJ.
He has been paralyzed from the neck down and living in the hospital since this fateful day, most recently at the Sheppard Center in Atlanta, GA, which specializes in spinal cord injuries.
Archer and his family have been smothered with support from the Baltimore community following his accident, which led to the slogans “Archer Strong” and “Archer’s Army” being used to describe the overwhelming amount of people who have joined together to hope and pray for Archer’s full recovery.
Wristbands and T-Shirts featuring these encouraging messages have been created by Archer’s friends, and they have spread throughout Baltimore like wildfire.
Archer’s family started a Facebook page, “Prayers for Archer”, and a blog (links included) where donations can be made and updates on Archer’s “progress and recovery” are posted by Mrs. Senft. The Facebook page has almost 3,000 likes from Archer’s friends and family in Baltimore and beyond, and there are posts everyday showing the outpouring of support he continues to receive as he fights the biggest battle of his life.
Archer’s story has gained vast amounts of attention from all around Maryland, including WBAL and CBS Baltimore, and even from the Atlantic City Press and other news publications in New Jersey. Archer’s mother revealed in a recent blog post that they even heard from the Pope’s assistant, who wrote a letter to Archer and his family last month. Various school communities have also rallied together in the wake of this terrifying and unexpected tragedy, and support, prayers, and words of hope for Archer and his family continue to pour in on a daily basis.
Archer is an exemplary athlete, artist, and student, but most importantly he is an amazing friend and human being. Anyone who has had the pleasure of spending time with Archer will agree that he is a smart, funny, and unique individual, and it is impossible to imagine him any other way. His smile and wit have the rare ability to make an entire room laugh, and he is the type of person whose pensive and thoughtful nature is thought-provoking and profound, a quality often noticed by those who know him well.
Archer has begun physical therapy, and close friends have been visiting him in the hospital, which is proof of the substantial improvement in his health since the accident occurred a little more than two months ago. As Archer continues to work toward a miracle, it is important that the Baltimore community remain supportive of him and his family when they absolutely need it most.