Chelsea community shows support of hospitalized 13-year-old

Published 9:39 am Thursday, November 21, 2019

CHELSEA – The Chelsea community is rallying around a 13-year-old middle school student who is in the hospital fighting to recover from a traumatic head injury.


Eli Hairston was injured Saturday, Nov. 16, in a golf cart accident. He underwent emergency brain surgery at Children’s of Alabama, and local residents have since been showing their support.

“We are all as a city lifting up Eli in our prayers tonight,” Chelsea Mayor Tony Picklesimer said at the City Council meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 19.

Councilwoman Tiffany Bittner said there have been “glimmers of hope” since the surgery and shared specific prayer requests from the family.

An account has been set up at Renasant Bank for anyone wishing to make donations.

“The family has not asked for anything, but I think a lot of us can relate to the story of, this could be your kid,” Bittner said.

The comments at the Council meeting followed a prayer circle attended by hundreds of people at the Chelsea High School football field.

The Chelsea community has been showing its support in other ways.

Fellow Chelsea Middle School students wrote letters to Eli, and messages of support were posted in the “Praying for Eli” Facebook group from Zambia, Trinidad and Tobago, and across the United States.

On Thursday, Nov. 21, the Mt Laurel Elementary School students wore blue and made donations, as did students at Vincent Middle-High School and other students across the area.

The Pizza Hut in Chelsea pledged to donate 20 percent of purchases when a special promo code was used.