courtesy Boo Mitchell
Elijah and Boo Mitchell
Boo Mitchell and family, keepers of producer Willie Mitchell's legacy and the ongoing musical productions at Royal Studios
, are currently in the throes of tragedy, as they hope and pray for the recovery of Boo and Tanya Lewis Mitchell's eldest son, Elijah. Friends and colleagues across the world were shocked to read a social media post
by Boo on August 16th:
This is the most difficult thing for me to post. Please excuse me if I’m a little scattered. Yesterday our oldest son Elijah Mitchell (Elijah Lewis) was taken to Regional One Health for a gun shot wound to the back, broken ribs and other injuries. Suspect, his girlfriend’s ex lover, broke in her house and waited for him, shot him in the back then beat him after he was down. His front teeth were all beaten out. Unfortunately the bullet went through his spinal cord and he has lost all of the feeling in his legs. Suspect has been arrested and is in custody. We are grateful and thankful that Elijah is alive. We have a lot of work ahead of us. This is the most devastating [thing] that has ever happened to me or my family. We are thankful for the amazing team of doctors and nurses at Regional One Health; they have been nothing less than angels through this. Please keep Elijah and my family in your thoughts and prayers. We know that God is in charge and we are praying and hopeful that one day he will fully recover.
As a testament to the tragic situation — and the good will Boo and family have inspired
throughout Memphis — hundreds have stepped up to help. Elijah, at 26, can no longer be covered by his parent's insurance and has none of his own. Accordingly, the Memphis community has risen to the occasion. Yesterday, Vicki Loveland
, a Memphis music veteran, launched a GoFundMe campaign, Elijah Mitchell Medical Emergency Fund
, to assist the family with the coming onslaught of medical bills.
courtesy Boo Mitchell
Today, the campaign has gathered roughly 20 percent of its fundraising goal of $50,000. The fund is steadily growing thanks to contributors from all walks of life, but of course the Mitchell family's importance to music is reflected in the list. Indeed, the importance of music to so many is evoked in Loveland's statement on the campaign page:
Music lovers all over the world, and certainly the Memphis music community, know the beautiful history of Royal Studios. We have lived our lives listening to hits from Al Green to Bruno Mars. But the biggest reason Royal has continued to be so vitally important to this world is because of the Mitchell family and the love and kindness they show, not only for Memphis but for people everywhere. Now, they need all of us to reciprocate and show them what we all can do to lift them up from a horrible tragedy that has stricken their family.
Her words reflect the deep connection between music and community, but it's the last word, family, that best expresses the heart of the matter. For what parent has not imagined what a crushing blow such events would be?
As of today, there have been no updates on Elijah's condition, but Loveland did add this postscript to the GoFundMe page: “Just want to say THANK YOU once again for keeping the love train rolling around the world. It really does matter.”