Teenager dies weeks after welcome home parade following crash that left him paralyzed

Eli Griffin, a Georgia teenager who was left paralyzed after a crash, has died. (Source: WALB)
Published: Apr. 21, 2023 at 4:54 PM CDT
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REBECCA, Ga. (WALB/Gray News) - A Georgia teenager has died after a crash left him hospitalized for months and paralyzed.

WALB reports that Eli Griffin’s family shared the news online Thursday.

“Eli Griffin passed. He fought hard. He had a big impact on so many not just from his hometown or school but all over. Please pray for the family and friends,” the family wrote.

Griffin’s life was changed forever in August 2022 when he was involved in a serious crash after attending a football game.

The boy’s family said doctors gave him a 15% chance of survival that evening as the crash caused his skull to detach from his spine.

But Griffin did survive and continued to fight for his life as the community rallied around him.

Earlier this month, Griffin was able to leave the hospital after eight months and dozens of community members lined the street to welcome him home.

Residents held a parade and welcomed him to his new house that the community donated money and time to build.

Derek Pilkinton, Griffin’s guardian, said that day, “The prayers that our community poured out for him are 100 percent why he is where he is today.”

According to the family, their son overcame many challenges since the crash and never gave up on his fight.

“He told us with blinks that he wanted us to continue his care,” Pilkinton said.

Griffin’s family thanked the community for including him in their prayers and helping them throughout this difficult time.