Last week I caused quite the stir with my story about the mother that looked the other way as my 4 year old stood straight up in the grocery cart (the small front part, not the basket) in the parking lot at Walmart. Today, I was planning a follow up post regarding the comments I received complete with another story about maternal neglect. However, that story will be told another day.
On Saturday, I saw a facebook post which was shared by several gals I had the pleasure of attending law school with. The facebook group was entitled, “I Support the O’Keefe’s.” As soon as I saw it, I knew what it was about.
In May 2011, I was horrified to see that one of my law school classmates and her brother had been viciously attacked in their home in Fairfield, Ohio, a suburb of Cincinnati. Stabbed numerous times by a known intruder and left for dead, they lay for 6 hours suffering, waiting for help to arrive. It was Danny’s beautiful dog, Sally, whose barking jolted Kelly back to awareness and call for help. I watched the story unfold and couldn’t believe that this lovely soft spoken bright girl, who I had known 9 years before had suffered such a horrible attack.
During the months that followed, I was pleased to see Kelly resurface on facebook and return to work. The attacker was caught and sentenced to 21 years in prison without the opportunity for parole. Nothing much was said regarding her brother in the press, so I incorrectly assumed he was faring just as well in his road to recovery.
I couldn’t have been more wrong.
Danny was stabbed 19 times in the brain. Yes, I said NINETEEN times. In. The. Brain. He also suffered severe tendon severing injuries to his right hand, simply devastating for one who was a drummer. Because of the injuries to his brain, he suffers from Aphasia. He has complete cognitive function but is unable to communicate his thoughts or feelings. At. All.
Can you imagine?
His injuries have been compared to those of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. The difference? She has millions of dollars at her disposal with the United States of America at her back.
Danny does have health insurance, however, his health insurance only covers 30 therapy sessions per year. He also has Medicaid, which covers an additional 19 sessions per year. Did you do the math? That is only 49 therapy sessions per year. Not even 1 per week. His doctors are recommending that he go to the University of Michigan for 4-5 weeks of intensive therapy which costs a staggering $27,000. They have stated he will probably need to go several times. Again, do the math. $27,000 x 3 = $81,000. Staggering. This price tag does not include the cost of room and board for his dad or the money his father will not make by not working for these weeks.
After I saw this facebook post which included a letter by Danny’s mother and a plea for financial help I was moved to tears. In the letter, I saw that she included a bank in Cincinnati that had an account for the family. I thought to myself, “Man, I wish they had a paypal account. They would be able to receive financial assistance much more readily.” Then, I thought, “Wow, if they had a website with their story and a paypal button, it would make it even easier for people to give.” It was at that moment that I felt called to use my, admittedly, limited knowledge of blogger and paypal to help. I emailed Kelly and her mom with my proposal. I don’t have a lot of money to give, but I do have an AMAZING community of mothers and fathers who I pray will heed my plea for help. It took me mere minutes to set up accounts and the website for this beautiful family. And the only reason I am sharing my part in this, is because you KNOW me. You, my dear friends, through my words and this blog, know me and know my heart.
My heart is with this family.
Tonight I had the honor of speaking to Danny and Kelly’s mother, Kathy, on the phone. When I have an idea kids, I get really excited and want to go-go-go. Speaking to Kathy tonight was incredible. From one mother to
another, I felt her pain. I felt her helplessness. I felt her desperation to go to the ends of the earth to help her son. It was then that I knew, I would do everything I could to help this woman and her son.
So my dears, from one mother to another, from one father to another, from one friend to another, will you help me help this young man. This aspiring attorney. This talented drummer. Will you help me so that he can receive the medical care he so desperately needs to get his life back? ANY amount you are able to give, will help this family get one step closer to getting Danny the medical care he needs and deserves. And perhaps more importantly, please keep this young man in your prayers and help SPREAD the word.