Community rallies around young athlete

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - "He's never been sick and when I got that call, it's just really upsetting me," said Edna Washington.

It was a phone call Washington never thought she'd receive. Her 15-year-old Grandson Elijah Mitchell suffered a heart attack during his basketball game.

"He's just my heart and he's a sweet kid," said Washington.

Perhaps it's that likeable spirit that caused a community to rally behind Mitchell as he recovers in a hospital in Jackson.

"Immediately I just jumped into action. What can we do as an organization?" said Kappa League Gulfport Chapter President Tommy Walker.

Together, Elijah's fellow Kappa members and basketball teammates, held a fish fry and car wash. They wore shirts in his honor with 4, his basketball number.

Washing cars and serving plates, Mitchell's best friend Tyrell McAurther remained hopeful.

"He's a fun. Goofy kind of guy, like no matter where you are, he's always the life of the party I guess you would say," said 15-year-old McAurther.

Mitchell's teammates said he never gives up on the basketball court and everyone felt assured he's not giving up this battle, either.

"Keep pushing man, because you know we all love you out here. So be strong for us and we'll be strong for you," said McAurther.

"This is granny, we love you so get well so you can come home," said Washington.

With hopeful hearts and eager spirits, they sent their love to Mitchell one car wash and fish plate at a time.

There's also an account set up for Elijah Mitchell at Hancock Bank.

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