CINCINNATI – Andres Bautista was deejaying for a cause Sunday night – his own.
He’s not literally back on his feet yet, but he was back doing what he loves – spinning music from a wheelchair at The Drinkery in Over-the-Rhine.
It’s been a tough few weeks for Bautista after a violent incident outside the bar, but a community came together support the man they know as "DJ AB.”
Bautista, who nearly lost his life, was spinning something new for the occasion.
“I’m known for playing electronic music, but that’s not what I’m going to do tonight,” he said. “I put something very special together. Songs that remind me of my family. Songs that remind me of lost loves, childhood and things of that nature.
“It feels right. It feels like a night of building new memories, but also remembering things from the past.”
Bautista remembers the night that changed his life forever. He got out of the car after an accident right outside The Drinkery.
“He started revving his engine. Within seconds ... I didn’t think he’d do it … he started his car. I held onto his door. He dragged me from here two blocks down the road.”
Bautista was in a coma, taken to the ICU.
“There was a slim chance making it through. The main surgeon said it was 10 percent. I wasn’t breathing," he said.
Both lungs collapsed. His liver was cut in half. Seven broken ribs. His pelvis, knee, ankle, elbow and wrist fractured.
Yet, through it all …
“There was a spiritual thing that took place. You know, I’m here. It’s pretty cool,” Bautista said.
Bartender Lauren Wood just marveled at the sight of Bautista spinning again.
“It’s so cool that he’s even putting himself out there to do that,” Wood said. “I’m sure it’s exhausting to go through this when you’ve been through the trauma and tragedy that he’s been through.”
The occasion was a benefit to pay down Bautista’s medical bills.
"Because he was so prominent in the community,” said Wood. “He does so much for OTR we wanted to be able to give back to him.”
After the benefit, it was back to rehab with a big goal in mind.
“I’m confident within a few months from now I’ll be walking again on both of my feet,” Bautista said.