PARK HILLS, Ky. -- It has been more than a year since an impaired driver slammed into the back of Elliot Feltner’s car and nearly killed him.
As the 23-year-old and his family have focused on his recovery, their friends and neighbors have rallied to raise money to give Elliot more healing opportunities.
The next major fundraiser is the No Limits Golf Outing at Devou Park on Oct. 1, followed by a dinner and silent auction.
“Spinal cord injuries are very expensive to treat,” said Craig Feltner, Elliot’s father. “All the help we’ve received has allowed us to do some of these off the regular path type of treatments.”
The driver who crashed into Elliot had been speeding along Interstate 75 at more than 100 miles per hour while high before the crash. Marshall Dutton was under the influence of marijuana, cocaine, Xanax and morphine, according to toxicology reports. Dutton was sentenced to 60 months in prison and will have his driver’s license suspended for 10 years.
Elliot had to be revived twice after the crash before stabilizing. He has made remarkable progress since his injury. He gets around in a wheelchair and is working to regain more muscle control in his hands and arms, which also were impacted by the crash.
The cost of care over Elliot’s lifetime is expected to be roughly $3 million, added Stefanie Feltner, his mother.
“We’ve burned through our insurance coverage,” she said.
That makes fundraisers such as the golf outing all the more important, she said.
A benefit dinner last November drew nearly 500 people. Craig and Stefanie Feltner didn’t grow up in Northern Kentucky, but they have lived in Park Hills since 1996.
Elliot graduated from Dixie Heights High School in 2012, where he was prom king and among the top 10 in his class. Always athletic, Elliot also was the selected by his teammates as the varsity soccer team captain and also was an avid inline skater.
He graduated from the University of Cincinnati just a few months before his accident with a degree in electronic media.
Elliot and his mother were in Denver for medical treatment during last November’s fundraiser. He said he’s looking forward to attending the event Oct. 1.
“A lot of people are going to be there who I haven’t seen since the injury who I know have been supporting me,” he said. “It will just be nice to see their smiles.”
It’s too late to register for the Oct. 1 golf outing. But the Feltners’ friends still are accepting donations to help with Elliot’s medical care. Email email@example.com for more information.
Lucy May writes about the people, places and issues that define our region – to celebrate what makes the Tri-State great and shine a spotlight on issues we need to address. To read more stories by Lucy, go to www.wcpo.com/may. To reach her, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @LucyMayCincy.