Traverse City –
Tuesday nights at Kilkenny’s Irish Pub in Traverse City have featured live music for as long as anyone can remember. And for as long as there has been live music on Tuesdays, Levi Britton has played his guitar. But for the last several weeks, Levi has not played at Kilkenny’s or anywhere else due to a major medical scare and open heart surgery.
The doctors tell him what probably started with a bad tooth escalated to a minor stroke, a major infection and a ten inch scar on his chest. Levi and his family spent the Christmas season in and out of hospitals and consulting with doctors about how to save the 39 year old father of five. “He started getting sick just a couple weeks after we got married,” his wife Annie told the Traverse City Record Eagle. “There were those moments at night … we all have that voice that tells us when something is wrong. It was not normal.”
Doctors were able to perform open-heart surgery successfully to resolve the problem and get Levi back to good health. Just one issue remains – how to pay for it all. That is when the community, formed on all those Tuesday nights at Kilkenny’s, took action. A GoFundMe page was started for Levi and in 19 days has raised over $30,000 for his recovery.
Levi and Annie are stunned by the generosity of the people in their community, some of whom they don’t even know. Levi even feels a little guilty for the outpouring of support, but Annie is quick to remind him of all the times he was first in line to play a charity event or donate his time.
“I guess when you’re on the receiving end it’s a little different,” she told the Traverse City Record Eagle. “There’s a lot of good people in the world and that feels good.”