When Trish Hensley-Kohl made a split-second decision to swerve off the road as an out-of-control vehicle sped down the highway toward her, she ultimately saved her life and the lives of her three passengers, including her 5-year-old son. But in doing so, she took the majority of the impact of a drunk driver who careened into the driver’s side door. She broke nearly every bone in her body, racked up more than $800,000 in medical bills, and was deemed unable to work or even adequately care for her young son. The accident occurred July 15, 2012 and, more than a year later, Hensley-Kohl is still hardly able to walk or go through the daily mundane tasks many take for granted.
But thanks to the love and support of her friends, a local business and a few rockin’ bands, the future is looking brighter. Several of her friends have come together to hold a benefit in her honor, in the hopes of raising enough money to help purchase a wheelchair accessible van to provide her with some form of transportation.
On Friday, Nov. 15, Louie G’s Pizzeria will host a fundraiser featuring several local bands – Klover Jane, Garrett Whitney and Amadon.
“We just want to do something to help her feel hopeful again,” said organizer Boston Mauritsen. “I want her to know the community is here for her.”
Mauritsen and her own family have already donated a Hoveround to help Hensley-Kohl move around her home, but she still has trouble getting to the many doctor’s appointments and running errands outside the home.
“She would do anything for her friends, so we want to do what we can to help her,” Mauritsen said. “We also want to bring attention to the repercussions of drinking and driving. There were children involved in this accident, and through no fault of her own, Trish is now unable to work. All she can do right now is focus on getting better.”
Mauritsen hopes to raise about $5,000 during the event – just enough to purchase a van, and help Hensley-Kohl regain a sense of independence.
Although there is no cover for the event, donations will be happily accepted, and organizers also hope to raise money through a donation raffle for a variety items, ranging from a basket full of high quality salon hair products, to gift cards to local restaurants, and even boot camp classes with local personal trainer Shawn Bell.
Many items are currently available on the online auction site, http://www.32auctions.com/organizations/10502/auctions/11634/show_info.
Louie G’s is located at 5219 Pacific Highway E. in Fife. This all-ages, family friendly event takes place from 5:30-10 p.m.