A family friend and a Manitou Springs tavern will hold a benefit concert to help pay for the care of Connor Kuczborski, a 2-year-old Black Forest boy who suffered serious brain injuries after nearly drowning in September.
Singer songwriter Scott Rhodes is scheduled to take the stage at the Ancient Mariner Tavern at 7 p.m. on Saturday. Rhodes’ wife Marion is a close friend with the mother of the boy who was found floating face down in a pond on Sept. 22 after wandering away from his mother while she worked in the yard.
Connor returned home Nov. 27 after spending more than two months in hospitals. The move was made to help find the mostly-unresponsive boy care alternatives not necessarily covered by insurance.
There will not be a cover charge Saturday. Donations will be accepted and at least 10 percent of the bar sales will go to help with medical bills and alternative care, tavern manager Amanda Keen said.
Keen said Rhodes frequent’s the bar’s open-mic night and approached her earlier in January about having a benefit show.
“We don’t normally do benefit concerts, but we had one last March and it did really well,” Keen said, noting that Connor’s story broke her heart. “They brought me some articles about what happened and we decided to do it.”
Keen is still looking for musicians and bands that will play a set Saturday and join the fundraiser.
According to Connor’s mother Dorit White, the toddler has steadily made small improvements physically since November. The last couple of months have been hard, however, as the mother said Connor is “a little better in a lot of unimportant ways.”
Connor’s heart rate has stabilized allowing less need for daily painkillers, White said, The mother added that the toddler is holding his head up better and beginning to recognize movement and light a little more than he did in the fall.
White said the move from Children’s Hospital in Denver to the family home on Teak Place in Black Forest has helped.
“I think it’s easier for him,” she said. “There’s not as much poking at him day and night. He’s in more of a natural rhythm.”
The family, including father Matt Kuczborski, hired a nurse and is looking into alternative treatments for Connor’s brain injuries, such as hyperbaric oxygen therapy. White said she started training to become Connor’s physical therapy and sensory stimulation caregiver at home.
The mother said the biggest challenges involved finding money and time to improve Connor’s progress.
“There are days when everything seems hopeless,” she said. “And then there are days when I say, ‘We can do this.’”