SPRING HILL, Kansas - The parents of Nathan Stiles will tell you - they led a charmed life.
Click on the attached video to watch our entire interview with Connie and Ron Stiles
“We were a good little family,” said Connie Stiles. “Everybody probably thought we had everything.”
But everything changed the evening their son Nathan played football in what they now refer to as “the Osawatomie game.”
Nathan had suffered a concussion earlier in the season, but after a doctor cleared him, he came back to play against Paola. Everything went fine.
But in the next game against Osawatomie, 17-year-old Nathan collapsed on the field and later died .
But even at that moment, Nathan's dad says he felt a sense of peace.
“From the very beginning from when he was laid out on the field I knew he was going to heaven. He was going to heaven,” Ron Stiles said. “We knew he was going to heaven and it’s such a comfortable feeling.”
Their faith has always been the centerpiece of the Stiles family. Connie says faith was the centerpiece of Nathan’s life.
“Nathan lived a good life, he was such a faithful follower and a good servant,” Connie remembers.
So it was not surprising to the Stiles to see many of Nathan’s friends decide to follow his ways after his death.
The family gave away hundreds of bibles during a Celebration of Life service for Nathan .
They invited everyone to return to church this week to learn more in what they call The Nathan Project.
“The Nathan Project is going to have a lot of different avenues, but it’s basically just open a bible and read it,” Ron said.
The Stiles are not angry about Nathan’s injury or the fact that continuing to play football after a concussion may have led to his death.
“There was a lot of guilt by a lot of people who should not have feeling guilty," Ron said.
“How do you ruin someone else’s life by blaming them for an accident?” Connie added.
The Stiles believe Nathan died for a reason. They now believe their mission is to carry on that work.
They know they have difficult days ahead, but say their faith will bring them through it.