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Concert benefits Safety Harbor man who lost leg in crash

LARGO

Sean Goddard took the stage with his band, Rockhound, and reminded the crowd about the young man they were there to support: Andrew Hall.

"He is probably the most amazing young man I've ever met in my life," he told the people at Gasoline Alley in Largo.

Rockhound and six other bands performed a benefit concert Sunday afternoon to raise funds for Hall, a 19-year-old Safety Harbor resident who lost his leg to a suspected drunken driver in a freak accident in April.

"I just can't believe that people come together like this for someone they don't even know," said Mary Arana-Andersen, who has been like a mother to Hall.

On Sunday, Arana-Andersen got to meet one of the paramedics who treated Hall after his accident.

"This is why I do what I do," said Damon Butts of Sunstar. "It's real gratifying when I can go and meet someone's mom and tell them I did the absolute best job I could."

Hall was diagnosed with cerebral palsy as a toddler. Growing up, he fought — and succeeded — at strengthening the muscles in his legs so he could walk. But the impact of the car crash severed Hall's left leg above the hip and caused several other serious injuries.

"It's heartbreaking," said Matthew Bistok, front man for the band Fall On Purpose, which also performed Sunday.

Three months after the accident, Hall remains hospitalized at Bayfront Medical Center. He's undergone several surgeries to repair his shattered pelvis, fractured right arm and dislocated right knee. Doctors are currently working on closing the wound created when his leg was severed. He has had one skin graft and has another scheduled for Friday.

In the meantime, he's undergoing physical therapy to regain strength and balance.

"I'm making lots of progress," Hall said last week.

Since a charitable fund was established for Hall in May, people have donated about $34,000. The donations will subsidize medical bills for Hall, who has Medicaid because of his physical disability.

But Hall is also saving for something special.

When he's ready, he'll need a computerized prosthetic because of his cerebral palsy.

They start at about $50,000.

From his hospital room last week, Hall asked Goddard to send a message to all those who have sent him cards, made donations and held fundraisers in his honor.

"Thanks for all the thoughts and prayers," said Hall. "And I really appreciate everybody who has contributed."

Rita Farlow can be reached at farlow@sptimes.com or (727) 445-4157.

. How to help

Andrew S. Hall Charitable Fund

To donate, make a deposit at any SunTrust Bank or mail a check with a note that it is for this fund to SunTrust Bank, Mail Teller, P.O. Box 27572, Richmond, VA 23261-7572.

Concert benefits Safety Harbor man who lost leg in crash 08/02/09 [Last modified: Monday, August 3, 2009 1:31pm]
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