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Young couple needs community support after freak accident puts husband in ICU with brain trauma

Pelion, SC 12/10/2022 (Paul Kirby) – For 23-year-old Austin Lombr and his new bride Brantley, 22, life seemed to be on the track that every young couple dreams of. Three weeks ago, the couple got married, they’d bought a house, and were settling into the married lifestyle as a pair excited about what God would bring in the future. For those who’ve been married for some time, it’s hard to recall that excitement of the first thoughts of children, a family, and a lifetime of love together. It’s really hard to understand why God sometimes decides to test us with the hard times when we’re so young just getting off the starting line. Still, tragedy is what has happened to Austin and Brantley as they now depend on faith in the Creator to bring them through the sickness when they’ve been married such a short time.

Austin works for a company named Pike. Pike subcontracts to companies like Dominion Energy that replaces or repairs worn out transmission lines that carry electricity to our communities and homes. Brantley is a 2nd grade schoolteacher who works for Lexington County School District 4 at Sandhills Primary School just outside of Swansea. Together, the couple were financially stable enough to be looking forward to starting a family and supporting themselves without help from others. They certainly were not wealthy, you might say that through their own hard work, they were on their way to becoming a typical American middle-class family. That was until a week ago when a freak accident put Austin in ICU with a serious brain injury and Brantley worrying and praying that God would lead her as she contemplated living with a husband whose future was certainly not clear anymore.

One thing that Austin enjoyed was go cart racing. He had a cart of his own and it thrilled him to have Brantley, his beautiful new wife, in the stands cheering him on as he circled the track. It was a great way for the young newlyweds to enjoy a weekend evening before returning home together. This is just what Austin and Brantley were doing when he was struck down by an accident that was so strange that it really is hard to believe.

Austin was racing Saturday night at a race at the Hwy. 178 Speedway between Pelion and Poole’s Mill. He had competed in his class however a crash put him out of the running and the race. As the track was cleared and the race restarted, Austin and some friends were standing off track watching the restarted race. At some point, a 5-pound weight that was on one of the carts circling the track came loose and launched into the air, crossing the track, and entering the stands. In the process, the weight hit Austin in the head striking him down where he stood. The piece finally struck a light pole leaving a large indention in it before coming to a stop.

It only took a few seconds for the friends who got to Austin first to realize how bad he was hurt. The onsite ambulance crew looked at him, and they knew right away that Austin needed to get to a hospital with a trauma center and the staff to deal with a serious brain injury. He was quickly transported to the Level 1 Trauma Center at Prisma’s Palmetto Health Richland’s campus in Columbia. There, the trauma team began to work on Austin realizing how critical his condition was.

Austin was quickly put on a ventilator to help him breath. Because bones that were broken in his head when he was hit were pressing on his brain, an emergency craniotomy to relieve that pressure was done. As doctors looked further, the found that the weight had broken almost every bone in his face. When they had done everything they could for Austin in the Trauma Bay of the Emergency Department, he was moved to ICU where he remains to this day. Brantley, family, friends, and co-workers all gathered to pray for Austin. Everyone is also praying for grace and strength as Brantley goes through this journey with her husband. As much as any current need they have, people close to Austin have requested that the community join them in prayer for his healing and recovery.

As most will understand, there are a great deal of expenses associated with what Austin and Brantley are going through. Doctors have said that Austin will have to undergo at least one more brain surgery. Once he’s stable and out of ICU, he will be transferred to a head trauma rehab facility, which means he’ll be moved out of the Midlands and maybe even out of state. The family is praying that they’ll be able to find a place for him at MUSC in Charleston, the closest facility to their home.

Currently, the family has gotten a P.O. box in Gaston where you can send Get Well cards and words of encouragement. That address is P.O. Box 84 - Gaston, SC 29053. If God has blessed you in 2022, please consider blessing Austin and Brantley with any amount you can spare. Anyone can send cards or monitory donations to that box. They’ve also set up a GoFundMe account if you feel more comfortable donating that way. It can be found at

Fish Hatchery Road Church of God has already put together a fundraiser for Austin and Brantley. It will be held on both December 17th and 18th. On Saturday, December 17th, there will be a BBQ with plates being sold at T’s Country Bar, which is located at 4922 US Hwy 321 South, Gaston, SC 29053. This event starts at noon. The BBQ plates are $15.00 each and include the meat and fixings. There will be live music and a raffle as well. On Sunday, December 18, 2022, there will be a Gospel Singing and Bake Sale at the church. That’s located at 3249 Fish Hatchery Road, Gaston, SC 29053. This will begin at 1 p.m. but you could also come early for church. It would be a wonderful time to join others in corporate prayer for Austin.

If you can’t help in any way financially, you can pray. Even if you aren’t in the habit of praying regularly, try it now. You don’t have to get on your knees, close your eyes, or fold your hands. Just speak to God and ask that he help in Austin’s healing and ask for strength for Brantley and the family. You could be amazed how this may make you feel. No matter what, you’d be doing something, and something is always better than nothing.

This is my daughter, Brantley Hill Lombr, husband. They were just married 3 weeks ago. Austin Lombr was at 178 Speedway on Saturday night watching a go kart race when a 5lb weight from a cart flew off into the crowd and unfortunately he was struck in the head. Austin suffered a critical head injury. He is in Prisma trauma center in the ICU on a ventilator fighting for life. He had to have an emergency craniotomy surgery due to a fractured skull that was pressing into his brain. The impact of the hit was so severe that it broke basically all the bones in his face as well. Austin has a very long road of recovery ahead of him. These next few days are very critical and we are asking for prayers.


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