JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Two months ago, Ben Bowersox almost died. It took all of 25 seconds for a playful moment to turn into a tragedy.
At least some would call it a tragedy. His dad, though, would choose another way to look at it.
Steve Bowersox, the worship pastor at First Baptist Church, sees the strength of his son and looks ahead to a bright future for him. He said God didn't cause this to happen. Instead, Ben's dad says, he sees God's "protection and providence."
His son has almost died four times in the last two months -- once from the initial accident and then from setbacks in the hospital.
RELATED: Prayers poured out for Ben Bowersox
The challenge still is, though, that little Ben, who just turned six, has lost four of his fingers on his left hand.
Doctors at Duke tried to reattach the fingers, but Ben had a dangerous fungus called Scedosporium Prolifcans. According to what Ben's dad has learned at Duke, there is no cure. Patients with the fungus have an 85 to 90 percent mortality rate.
So doctors had to take off the parts of Ben's fingers they had so carefully reattached in long hours of surgery. The move was to keep Ben alive.
Ben's doctors are keeping a close eye on him. He'll return to Duke on August 12th for more testing. The hope is the fungus has just shown up in the lab and not anywhere inside Ben again. Doctors say the fungus is not contagious.
If the fungus returns, doctors will have to remove more of Ben's hand, according to his dad.
Where did the fungus come from? Ben's dad thinks maybe from just dirt at the airport. Anyone with a healthy immune system would have no problem. But Ben had severe, open wounds.
The accident happened on May 7th.
Ben was trying to ride up a hangar door at Craig Airfield. His dad, a pilot, heard Ben whimper in pain and had to race to push a button to stop the mechanical action of the door.
Now Ben is at home trying to get stronger. His legs are a bit wobbly after more than seven weeks in a hospital bed. His dad has fun ways to get Ben walking when he wants to just stay seated and play his iPad racing games.
But the games are good therapy for his hands.
Has Ben looked at his hand without all five of his fingers? His dad said, "Yes." He has to change Ben's bandages at home twice a day.
But what seems to bother Ben the most right now is the stitches.
"I don't like looking at them," Ben said.
Ben's dad says the support has been amazing. One woman at his church made special shirts for Ben that open and shut with Velcro down the sides so his tubes don't get tangled in the fabric.
RELATED: Ben Bowersox returns home; crowd welcomes him at Craig Airfield
Thousands of people on the First Coast and around the world have sent in messages of encouragement for Ben and his dad.
His dad lost his wife, Ben's mother, to melanoma about two years ago. He's been through some very tough times.
But his theme song has become Chris Tomlin's popular song, including the words, "If our God is for us ... who can be against us?"
The hope, he said, comes from his rock-solid faith and also medical research, which could mean someday Ben's own stem cells could grow new fingers for him. Another positive? Ben has both his thumbs in perfect working condition.
If you want to send encouraging words to Ben and his dad, just go to our First Coast News Facebook page.
Watch the video above to see Ben's dad return to the scene for the first
time to explain exactly how Ben lost his fingers. And you'll also hear
Ben's latest joke!
First Coast News