Neighbors showing support for Alabama teen injured in golf cart accident

State / Regional

CHELSEA, Ala. (WIAT) — A Chelsea teenager is in the ICU with head trauma after a golf cart accident over the weekend, according to family members.

Eli Hairston, 13, is at Children’s of Alabama surrounded by loved ones. Neighbors held an impromptu candlelight vigil for the teen over the weekend at Chelsea High School’s football field.

“It just shows you how a community can come together in such a tough time and how they can relate to a family, especially if you’ve got kids, it could have happened to any of our children,” said Tiffany Bittner, a family friend of the Hairstons.

Bittner said she shared the live stream of the vigil with Eli’s mother while the family remained at the hospital.

“She actually said she showed it to Eli last night she put it by his head where he could hear it, and she’s just trying to give encouragement that so many people are pulling for him and are praying for him,” said Bittner.

Hairston is in the 8th grade at Chelsea Middle School. Their family is leaning on their faith in God and the support from the community during this difficult time.

“People are praying all over the country for sweet Eli to see healing take place in his life. It is just an awesome thing to watch and I’ve said so many times, I look forward to seeing a miracle happen in his life so we can all sit back and watch what God has done,” said Haley Houston, who sang at the weekend vigil.

At Chelsea Middle School Monday, students and teachers wrote notes of love for Eli and his family members in the hospital. The teenager has several siblings.

“Kids love him here at the school. He is surrounded by friends every time I see him, always with a smile on his face, you could’t ask for a better kid, you couldn’t ask for a better family,” said Ken Thornbrough, an assistant principal.

Family friends like Bittner remain in contact with Eli’s loved ones for updates on his condition.

“The main things they are asking for with the prayer is for his temperature to stay down, his swelling to stay down, and no seizure like activity,” said Bittner.

Classmates at CMS plan to help raise money with a fundraiser this week.

Friends hope prayers will be answered in the days ahead.

“We really don’t understand the whole why bad things happen, but I think in the end they just want God to be glorified through it and they want it to be a testimony for Eli in the days to come,” said Bittner.

Stay with CBS 42 for updates on Eli’s condition.


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