North Okaloosa residents support Crestview child following boating accident


Lacy Gatlin, 23, of Atlanta, came up with the hashtag that started a movement. The former Crestview resident says she's just happy that #prayfordrew is raising awareness and funds for the Barefields.

Published: Saturday, July 19, 2014 at 05:47 PM.

CRESTVIEW — Support for a 12-year-old and his family has grown so much that a common hashtag, #prayfordrew, is all over Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and on North Okaloosa businesses' signs.

Drew Barefield was hit by a boat propeller on June 28 while snorkeling in shallow water off Walton County’s Choctaw Beach. The boat driver left the scene of the accident. Currently, Drew is in a medically induced coma, Wendy, his mother stated in a Facebook message to the News Bulletin. 

“He has a long road ahead of him … my husband Trey and I are just taking it moment by moment, day by day and thanking Jesus for the little miracles he gives us," she stated.

The family, including Drew's sister, Savannah, are active members of Emmanuel Baptist Church, but community support has surpassed church membership.

#Prayfordrew appears on McDonald’s and BBVA Compass Bank's electronic signs and social media websites, and now is on bracelets, T-shirts and coffee mugs.

Lacy Gatlin, 23, of Atlanta, came up with the hashtag that started a movement.

Gatlin, who grew up in Crestview, is friends with the Barefields, and shortly after the accident created a graphic that stated: "#prayfordrew Hebrews 10:23" on her Facebook page. She made it her profile picture.

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