I tell Danny, we won’t quit until he has his life back


Please call/email Peggy Fette for tickets:
[email protected]
A letter from Danny’s mom,

On May 6, 2011, a man broke into my daughter’s home. He forever changed all of our lives that day. He hid in the dark early morning hours, and forced his way in. This man attacked my daughter, stabbing her multiple times. Her brother, Danny, heard her screams, and ran to her aid, changing his life forever.

Sally – the beautiful dog that saved Kelly and Danny’s lives

I’d tried all morning to reach my daughter, and then my son, by phone, text, and email. It was very unusual not hearing from them. Concerned, I called my husband, who was working at a job site, and told him. I thought I was being paranoid, but he needed to go check on them. He proceeded to pack up his gear. In the mean time, my children’s one year old shepherd had barked for six hours straight. This puppy woke my daughter. Her barking saved our son’s life. My daughter called me, knowing she was sick and hurt, but not what was wrong. My daughter fought blood loss and multiple injuries to make that call. That call saved both of their lives. My youngest son, Kyle, got home, and I sent him too. He and his dad, Jim, got there right behind each other. I sent them into a nightmare, neither will ever forget. Things like this just don’t happen in real life. It’s too horrid to be real; but it is.

[quote_right]I’ve been told it’s the worst crime scene the police and EMTs had ever seen.[/quote_right]I’ve been told it’s the worst crime scene the police and EMTs had ever seen. My two children laid in pools of their own blood for 6 hours before help arrived. They were stabbed in the brain, chest, neck, and arm. Once I heard from Jim, he told me to go to UC Hospital because my children would be aircared there.

Danny had to be resuscitated at sight. He barely made it to Mercy Fairfield Hospital. Aircare picked him up there. At that time, my daughter was already at UC Hospital, arriving by aircare. I was told she would have brain surgery, and then turned around and was told Danny had arrived and would be having brain surgery. Can you even imagine?

After receiving that news, I had to call my other son, Ryan (a US Army MP). He was stationed in Seattle after being deployed in Iraq for a year and a half. I had to tell him we didn’t know if they would live or not, it didn’t look good, and to get home as fast as he could. Because this was a high profile case, we were told by law enforcement to not talk to anyone, and were placed on lock down. We were asked to maintain our silence. We did. We talked to no one, and just waited to see if our children would live.

law school graduation
Danny with his mother and father

Our daughter, is back to work, working to reclaim her life. We try to shield her from the curious. Because of our silence no one knows how badly our son, Danny, was hurt. Danny was stabbed 19 times in the brain. His right hand had multiple defense wounds. His tendons were severed. He was kicked so hard his spleen was lacerated. Danny’s injuries have been compared to Congress Woman Gabby Gifford. His skull was so crushed it took a year, minus two days, to get a skull cap replacement in.

Danny has had five surgeries in the last year. Now we’re fighting to get his life back. Danny has aphasia, which means he has trouble talking, reading, and writing, devastating to a young man who had just finished law school. He wanted to be a defense attorney, to make a difference.

Danny used to play the drums, but can no longer use his right arm. Danny walks with a limp, but he walks two miles every day. Danny is our hero. He saved our daughter’s life, but at a great cost. Danny loves sports. He played baseball, football, and soccer. He loved to read, and play the drums. He’s lost it all. We are fighting to get his life back.

Danny has fought hard in the past three and a half years. The first six months he fought just to stay alive. The skin wouldn’t heal on his head and he got an infection on his brain. Danny was just so sick. The antibiotic treatments were horrid.

[quote_right]Danny has fought hard in the past three and a half years. The first six months he fought just to stay alive.[/quote_right]Finally, in January 2012, he started to feel better, this was four surgeries later. He had been in speech, occupational, and physical therapy not really making a lot of progress. He was just too sick and too tired. In January, we put Danny on some natural vitamins, with doctor’s approval. He seemed to improve a bit. His speech therapist noticed the difference.

At this time, I was reading everything I could find. I found Hyperbarics and The University of Michigan Aphasia Program. We were worried Danny wasn’t strong enough for the UMAP therapy. He spent most of his time still in bed. He didn’t have a skull cap in place. We started the hyperbarics. Danny did 40 dives and we noticed a big improvement. He got his new skull cap and cried when he saw his new head. We stopped worrying so much about him falling. He was able to attend UMAP in the fall.

I walked in two weeks after he started their program and he said, “The girl is brushing her hair”. Now, I wanted to cry. Danny has attended UMAP for a total of ten sessions, with great improvement. He still has a long way to go. He attends Speech and Occupational Therapy three days a week. He has a personal trainer for PT, three days a week as well. He’s taking drum lessons again. He has shoulder and elbow movement and his range of motion is good. Now for the hand! He just got a new MyoPro brace for his arm. We are praying for a miracle but will settle for just improvement.

I search the web for government studies, and we go for it as long as it’s not harmful to Danny. His doctor has been wonderful answering our question on new treatments.

[quote_left]I tell Danny, we won’t quit until he has his life back.[/quote_left]As I tell Danny, we won’t quit until he has his life back. It’s a long bumpy road. Everyday there is a new challenge to be met and overcome. When he first came home he could say three words. We lifted him in and out of his wheel chair. He couldn’t move his right arm.

Today, Danny can walk miles, his arm is moving, and he can say most words and several phases. Sentences are still difficult. He is reading and being read to on his kindle fire. His text, are not just yes and no anymore, but a couple words long now. It might not seem like a lot, but when I look back to the beginning of this nightmare, it’s awesome how far he has come. He just walked 11 miles in Cincinnati’s Flying Pig Marathon!!!

[quote_right]We are asking for you to PLEASE help us in continuing Danny’s therapy.[/quote_right]We have just applied and have been accepted into a service dog program for Danny. This dog will be Danny’s constant companion. As you know, Aphasia can leave you feeling alone. We think “Zack” will be the best friend Danny could ever have. “Zack” now lives with Danny full time.

Danny misses his old life. He studied and worked hard to get where he was. It was taken away in a moment. They didn’t think he’d even live. No one can say how far a brain injury can recover so that means he can recover. I believe in him. He’ll do it.

Thank you for taking your time reading this. This story was on the news. We have a Facebook Page, I support the O’Keefe family,  and/or dannyokeefe.org where you can follow Danny. We are asking for you to PLEASE help us in continuing Danny’s therapy. He needs 9 therapies a week and insurance only cover 50 a year. Therapies are very expensive. Danny takes PT, OT, Speech, and music therapy.

Thank you,

Kathy O’Keefe (mom)

Loveland, Ohio

Please call/email Peggy Fette for tickets:
[email protected]



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