Local woman who’s spent her lifetime helping others – is in need of our help now after terrible accident

June 7, 2020

Written By

Mary Friona Celani

I was asked to share the story of Chelsea Ellis. It’s not a happy story but a necessary one. I am so heartbroken for this beautiful woman.


A young woman continues to fight for her life a week after she was hit in a crash involving a Buffalo Police officer headed to a report of a man with a knife.

On April 15 – in the middle of the afternoon – Chelsea Ellis was walking home. She was walking on a sidewalk on Main Street at Benwood Avenue when she was struck by a car.  A Buffalo Police officer was headed to a call of a reported person with a knife.  The 3-year-veteran of the force collided with another car and two pedestrians. Chelsea was one of those pedestrians. She was taken to ECMC in critical condition.


Chelsea continues to fight for her life. She is suffering from spinal cord injuries and needs specific care that is extremely expensive. Family and friends have started a gofundme page to help. Here is the information on the page.


“On behalf of Chelsea Ellis, her family is seeking monetary donations to fund medical expenses for spinal cord injury rehabilitation, not covered by health insurance. A 3-month stay at $5,000 per day, along with approximately $55,000 for air ambulance transport to and from the facility, means she will require $515,000 to get state-of-the-art rehabilitation at Craig Hospital in Englewood, Colorado. This rehabilitation is critical to her future well-being and ultimately to her return to home. Chelsea’s family is praying for a generous outpouring of donations to facilitate paying for these extraordinary costs.

Chelsea is a 29-year-old woman who miraculously survived catastrophic injuries sustained on April 15, 2020. She was a pedestrian on the sidewalk in the City of Buffalo, NY when a police SUV responding to a 911 call, crashed into a car, lost control and struck her. She flew a great distance and suffered multiple fractures, including severe injuries to her spine and brain stem. Chelsea is currently quadriplegic and ventilator dependent. She has miraculously regained cognitive function and has the same great personality. She engages with family and friends via FaceTime using facial expressions, eye motions and by mouthing words.

Chelsea is a joyful, selfless human being who leads a life of Discipleship. She is a teacher of English to speakers of other languages and loves refugees. She recently became a realtor with the ambition of finding decent housing for the immigrant/refugee community in Buffalo, NY. Chelsea has done missionary work in 12 different countries around the world. Her love for Christ and passion for spreading His word is her main objective in life. Within the last year, Chelsea bought a house and started an educational ministry out of her home to help refugee children and their families. She also regularly held Bible study in her home hoping that others might also be empowered by the love of Christ.

Friends of Chelsea created a Facebook Group entitled “Chelsea’s Army” which is now over 2,100 members strong. Individuals from this group have been fervently praying for her over the past six very challenging weeks. Places of worship and people in all 50 of the United States and in 72 different countries around the globe are praying for her restoration. Chelsea has lived a life of helping others. Now she needs YOUR help! Please prayerfully consider making a donation for this critical next step in Chelsea’s recovery. God bless you and your families during this difficult time and thank you from the bottom of our hearts!!”



Here is the latest information from Chelsea’s Aunt.


“Please continue to pray for her pain management. It seems to be lessening to some degree. Chelsea is able to tolerate the chair position in her bed, which helps to minimize risk of pneumonia. Last night they changed Chelsea’s trache tube because there had been resistance during suctioning with the previous one. A recent spinal tap showed some promising results, ruling out meningitis among other bad things. THANK GOD! Her legs and feet are still very swollen. Please pray for reduced swelling. Chelsea has had no fever and her vitals are all good. 💕🌈
The GoFundMe Campaign is underway for Chelsea’s Spinal Cord Rehabilitation. We want only the VERY BEST for Chel with this critical phase in her recovery! After much research and hearing testimonies directly from three different families, we firmly believe Craig Hospital in Colorado is the BEST FIT for Chelsea.
Out of state Medicaid is not accepted because Mt. Sinai in NYC was willing to accept her first. Unfortunately, Mt. Sinai is just beginning to transition back to a rehab facility after being transformed into a Covid 19 hospital. They are in flux and we know Chelsea would not want to be in the epicenter of this virus or to be caught in the whirlwind of change. This is simply one of MANY reasons we prefer Craig over Mt. Sinai. UNFORTUNATELY, Craig requires half of the money up front before taking Chelsea. $250,000 is needed THIS WEEK and we are under 30% of attaining that goal.
Chelsea is stable and ready to be discharged perhaps this week!! 😊 Alleluia! Praise Jesus! ❤🌈 However, we need help to get her where we feel God is leading! If you are still contemplating making a donation, we kindly ask for you to PRAY over your giving and to PLEASE donate SOONER rather than later. Craig Hospital wants the funds as soon as Monday or Tuesday this week. We believe that money raised in faith through prayer will ultimately RAISE Chelsea up!! ❤🌈 We are overwhelmed with the outpouring and generous giving so far!! 💕 However, we have SUCH A LONG WAY to go to reach her goal and to make this a reality for Chelsea!
Heavenly Father, all things are possible with you! LORD, if Craig Rehabilitation is Your Will, we ask you to stir generosity in the hearts of those who want to support Chelsea. Merciful and loving Father, please pave the way for what you desire to bring Chelsea the best means of full restoration. In Jesus Name, Amen. 🌈❤”


Here is a link to the Gofundme Page. Please help if you can. We are praying non stop for Chelsea and her family.



About Me

Welcome to Totally Buffalo! My name is Mary Friona-Celani and I am the creator of this site! After spending 20 years in the Buffalo media, I moved on to focus on my beautiful family. Now, the time has come for a new project. I was ready for something new. Something mine.
I am born and raised in WNY and my pride runs deep. My husband, Scott and I are very happy to be raising our four daughters here.






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