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Churches rally around family after father falls while volunteering

Clint Mongan was 20 feet up on a ladder preparing to cut back a wayward walnut tree in his congregation’s parking lot when something went terribly wrong.
The 35-year-old outdoorsman grew up surrounded by trees in his native Iowa. He made his living as a self-employed builder of custom log homes, volunteering for tasks like this around the building or for fellow Christians on his days off. Mongan knew what he was doing.
Yet, on Sept. 19, the unthinkable happened: The father of two young daughters fell to the concrete outside the Hickman Road church in Des Moines, Iowa. The helmet he was wearing protected his head and spinal cord, but his arms, legs and torso sustained major injuries.

Four weeks in a hospital bed with three major surgeries followed. The 100-member Hickman Road church has rallied around the family, but its small liability insurance policy coupled with Mongan’s self-employed status and lack of medical coverage has prompted them to ask for additional help on behalf of the family, including Mongan’s wife, Kelly, and the couple’s two young daughters: Sadie, 4, and Ella, 23 months.
Surrounded by his family in their handicap-accessible apartment in West Des Moines, Mongan said he feels blessed.
The former Oklahoma Christian University baseball star, who loves skiing and is rarely seen without his cowboy hat, says the transition from a “super-active” lifestyle to recovering in a wheelchair has been difficult physically, but the couple’s connections to faithful Christians in other states have kept them strong spiritually.
“We haven’t really fallen apart,” Mongan said. “Even though we’re not sure what God has in store for us, we trust him. We have supportive families and friends and a close-knit church family who have made the difference for us.”
Warned by doctors that he’ll never be able to work in construction again, the Mongans are faced not only with the daunting task of rehabilitating Clint’s arms and legs, but also making a career change once he’s able, which they say will be another year, at the earliest.
“What we need the most right now is prayer,” he said. “Obviously, financially, it will be a challenge the next year.”
Colby Clapp, minister at Hickman Road, said Clint Mongan’s generous spirit and upbeat outlook on life continue to touch the congregation. With his medical bills expected to total more than $400,000, they want to help ensure that mindset continues.
“His spirit is always encouraging and positive,” Clapp said. “He is a good worker … who needs his Christian family to step in and help him and his family out for a while.”
Funds for the family may be sent to:
Hickman Road Church of Christ
Attn: Mongan Family Fund
5217 Hickman Road
Des Moines, IA 50310
Clint Mongan said his daughters would especially enjoy receiving Christmas cards from around the world this holiday season. They may be mailed to:
Sadie and Ella Mongan
5472 Wild Rose Unit 2200
West Des Moines, IA 50266

  • Feedback
    Thank you so much for printing this article. I have known Clint for 10 years and he has been my son-in-law for 9 years. He is a very kind person and I have seen him give his last dollar to others in need on several occasions. I also have never heard him say an unkind word to anyone or about anyone. I am very thankful and proud to know him. Thanks for your help. Carolyn Allen
    Carolyn Allen
    Waterloo Road
    Guthrie, oklahma
    December, 2 2009

    i really appreciate what you are doing,please i would to be receiving the christian chronicle.
    allen bayo
    Church of Christ Irele
    Irele, Ondo
    November, 28 2009

    I am so sorry for your family and this horrible accident, I had not heard anything about this, but have sent this e-mail to our church secretary. Lisa Clapp is from Pauls Valley and we know them well. My prayers are with you all at this time. May God keep you in his loving arms.
    Kay Brewer
    Pauls Valley Church of Christ
    Pauls Valley, Ok
    November, 24 2009

Filed under: Staff Reports Top Stories

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