A benefit for a 15-year-old Chickamauga boy who suffered a traumatic brain injury early this month is planned for Saturday, Nov. 11, at Phibbs Bar & Grill in Rock Spring.
It will be a day of live music at the "A Light In The Darkness" benefit to raise money for the young man's dream of a tiny home fit for his needs following his injury.
Pagiel Griffith was involved in a near-fatal accident on Oct. 8.
Pagiel's right eye had to be removed and he has lost vision in the left eye.
He was at T.C. Thompson's Children's Hospital until he was taken to the Shepherd Center in Atlanta, where he underwent brain surgery. A pocket of air was located in his brain.
The accident destroyed his sinuses and fat from his abdomen was taken and placed where his sinuses once were as well as dissolving packing material to stop air from entering his brain.
He is now on bed rest following the surgery and will undergo physical therapy for the next year. He will also need the use of a guide dog.
He had dreamed of moving into a tiny home on a property donated to him and his mother, Bethany Kinsey, even prior to the accident.
According to Kinsey, Pagiel dreamed of a tiny home before his incident.
"He spoke of it often and researched online. This will be his home and I will be with him until he is ready to be on in his own. He will need 24-hour care and rehabilitation for at least one year as he learns how to live life to the fullest as a blind young man. This is a long journey for him physically and mentally as all a newly blind person can see is limitations. But as Helen Keller said, 'The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision.' So, until he regains his belief...I will have vision for him," Kinsey said.
"Pagiel plays four instruments — the fiddle, ukulele, guitar and acoustic bass. He teaches himself Romanian in his spare time an hopes to one day buy Bran's castle to rebuild Romania's economy. He is an extraordinary teen," Kinsey said.
The tiny home is important as it will be built with his visual impairment in mind, Kinsey said.
"The home will have different textures to help him have spatial awareness and features specifically designed for him and his needs. The home will be built as per Walker County's specs. The small space is not only what he desired before his incident but will be beneficial to him as the aesthetic views of the home will not be important. The sounds of different flooring, the feel of different textures on the walls will surpass the need for visual features a sighted person would choose. His space will be suited to his needs and wants," Kinsey said.
There is a GoFundMe but you may also send direct donations to Creighton's Flowers.
The funds from the benefit concert organized by Vic Burgess will all go directly into the build. Communications can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Who's playing at the benefit?
A host of local bands will be performing at the A Light in the Darkness event including Tennessee Tremblers, Casey Adams, Common Ground, Avalon Mirabel, The ExLaws, Baz Shaw, Troub Stone, Barefoot Nellie & Co., with many more.
The event begins at 2 p.m. and lasts until midnight with a $5 cover charge including a suggested donation to Pagiel's cause.
"Pagiel has always been one of those people — even as a small child — that altered your heart in such a way that you left him lighter than before you encountered him. Now that he only sees darkness, I wish for everyone to return that light back to him. I ask the community to help me as a mom to give him vision until he can possess it on his own," Kinsey said. "He as always been my 'Light in the Darkness' — giving my heart pure and perfect love."