At the third annual Pensado Awards on Saturday, August 20, 2016, the event’s organizers, led by Herb Trawick and Dave Pensado, will raise funds and awareness around David Platillero, a producer-engineer who suffered a severe traffic accident earlier this year while enrolled at The Blackbird Academy in Nashville.
Platillero’s injuries will require intensive rehabilitation, so supporting Platillero and his family is a key goal of this year’s Awards.
Throughout the evening at the live awards ceremony, Trawick, Pensado and the event’s co-hosts will be driving donations and encouraging all in attendance to contribute via a mobile app, accompanied by updates throughout the night. Additionally, in the weeks leading up to the event, people can help raise awareness on social media by using the hashtag #WeStandForDavid.
This spring, just three weeks into classes at The Blackbird Academy, Platillero was riding his bicycle, which he generally used for transportation around Nashville, including to and from his classes. A distracted driver ran a red light and struck Platillero, who was seriously injured. He was wearing a helmet, which prevented brain injury or worse. However, he suffered a spinal cord injury, collapsed lung, fractured scapula, and severe lacerations on his back and left arm.
A surgeon in the trauma unit, after seeing the CT and MRI scans, declared the injury to be “complete” and opined that Platillero would likely recover very little movement below the waist and never walk again without assistance. Platillero has made significant progress already; the outlook overall is much more optimistic than it once was, but the road to recovery will be long and strenuous.
David Platillero, pictured at Vanderbilt Hospital after the accident with The Blackbird Academy founder John McBride.
Immediately after hearing the news of the accident, David Platillero’s parents, John and Mitzi Platillero, dropped everything and raced to Nashville from their home in Knoxville. On the way, they received a call from The Blackbird Academy founder and producer John McBride, who was standing next to David’s bed in the emergency room at Vanderbilt Hospital.
“He told us that he didn’t want David to be alone,” notes John Platillero. “He assured me that he and everyone at the academy were rooting for him. He also said he would not leave his side until we arrived. Hearing his words of encouragement and resolve to be there for David was everything to us. Later, he told us that, as far as his studies at The Blackbird Academy were concerned, David was welcome back just as soon as he was able. In the weeks since the accident, the staff, students, and community of The Blackbird Academy have been tremendously supportive.
“Hearing about David’s injuries hit an emotional note for us,” says Trawick. “Beyond that, John McBride’s support for David is a reminder that we should treat this industry like a family, because it is. There was never any doubt that we would make David’s story a part of this year’s Pensado Awards, and help contribute to the rehabilitation and bright future of this talented young man.”