Tuesday, December 17, 2013

As in the past, would you take a moment to say a prayer for Danny’s continued healing. They say there is power in pray. We ask that you do this on Christmas Eve at 6:00 PM.
I wanted to again thank each and everyone of you. Danny has come so far with your help. This last round at UMAP, WOW!!!! I can’t believe the improvement. Everyone who’s seen him is saying the same.
I was asked about the Fifth/Third Account. Yes, it is still open. The O’Keefe Family Assistance Fund or you can go to dannyokeefe.org and use the pay pal account.
We have delayed Danny’s next trip to UMAP until March. He is home for the next couple of months, taking therapy at Mercy Hospital. We love his therapists, Moe and Wes!!! They have worked with Danny for two years now and have become like family. He loves working with his personal trainer, Lisa as well! She donates her time to Danny.
He is now back to playing his drums. He told me it made him feel like he was getting a bit of his life back. He practices 3 hours each day. It’s a good work out for his arm and leg.
He’s been out with friends and family, just enjoying the holidays.  I took him Christmas shopping. It was one-stop shopping at Jungle Jim’s. We had a great time. Of course this was followed up with Skyline time.
From our family to yours, Merry Christmas and Happy New Years. Be safe.
Thank you, Kathy O’Keefe

Friday, November 22, 2013

Danny's Story (this was written for the students of Moeller High School)

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.

I'd tried all morning to get 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 6 hours straight. This puppy woke my daughter, Kelly. 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.

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.

Our daughter, Kelly, is an assistant prosecutor for Butler County. She 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 2 days, to get a skull cap replacement in

Danny has had 5 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. He was working, starting his own practice. When his whole world changed.

Danny, also has right side hemisphere paralysis This effects his right arm and right leg. It makes everyday movement, walking, dressing, eating very difficult.

Two years and half years later, we are still fighting each and everyday to get our son’s life back. We try constantly to find new treatments, therapy, ideas to benefit Danny. Funding is a major issue. He does have health insurance. It only allows 30 therapies/year. He’s on Medicaid which allows 20/year. Danny gets help from Mercy hospital with 3 hours of therapies a week in speech and occupational therapy. It’s not enough. We have been told for his speech he needs at least 9 hours a week. Mercy provides us with 3hours, leaving us struggling to get the other 6. This summer we had a private tutor for those other 6 hours, at a reduce cost of $400 a week.

For patients with aphasia an intense therapy program is recommended. A program like the one at the University of Michigan, called UMAP (University of Michigan Aphasia Program). They have therapy there 6 hours a day, five days a week.
The UMAP program cost $22,000/month. This only covers the speech therapy. It doesn’t include Physical, Occupational therapies, or his room and board. Danny went a total 7 sessions at a cost of $154,000. I’m still getting in physical therapy bills from the University of Michigan from last October, which are running in the thousands.

We have had help from the community, friends, family, churches, foundations, schools, victims’ of violent crime fund, and fund raisers to cover his bills. We are running out of resources.

Was it worth this cost? When Danny left for Michigan he could say very few words. Today, Danny can say most words and can even say a few sentences. He can communicate enough to get his thoughts across to us now. He’s relearning to read and write. He can now text me short messages. There has been great improvement, it is very slow and frustrating, but he is improving. What cost would you put on your child’s recovery?

He is walking several miles a week and has stopped physical therapy, though he is using a personal train several times a week. He is even running some sprints. He still has very limited use of his arm, but he now has movement in his shoulder and elbow. The therapist can tell you the percent of movement that has returned. She and his doctor’s have been very pleased. He’s wrist and hand movement have improved but still a major issue. Danny has started to be able to hold and pinch things with his hand. His hand and his speech have a long way to go, but his therapists are optimistic. Danny’s work ethic is his best chance of getting better.
We have had to get two braces for Danny, one for his arm and one for his leg. These braces cost were $4000-$6000. Today we’ve been advised to get him a new brace at a cost of $28,000. We are still waiting to see if insurance will cover any of this brace. It didn’t the last two. These braces help with movement in his arm and leg.

Danny has taken two 40 sessions of hyperbaric, at a cost of $8,000. We found this very helpful to Danny and would recommend it for others. It is a new therapy recommend for brain trauma. The United States Army uses it for their TBI cases. They deal with more TBI than any other medical center.

We have been told all brain injury cases are different. No one can say how far Danny can go. We do know his youthful age, his strength, his determination, his education, and his musically ability are weapons on his side. With the proper therapy he can improve, there is no time limit on his ability to get better.

My husband and my greatest fear, is what happens when we aren’t around to help him any more. Most parents have a life time to help a disabled child. We have not. We are now entering our 60’s. Danny needs to get better to care for himself, to get back to work and have a life. I do know if you stop and it’s over. You have to keep fighting for each improvement. He’s come so far. When he first came home, I was lifting him in and out of a wheel chair. He could say three words. He had no use of his arm. He is making it. I promised him, his dad and I would not quit till he had his life back.

Danny used to play the drums, but can no longer use his right arm. Danny walks with a limp, but he walks miles every week. 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.

His attacker was trained in the martial arts. He brought a weapon called a skull crusher with him. He was sentenced to 21 years in prison for destroying a life and forever changing our family's lives.


Thursday, September 19, 2013

From Rick Pitcairn...

As some of you know, Danny has been going through many therapies to get his life back after he was brutally attacked coming to the rescue of his sister. His therapy runs about $1,800 per day. I would like to make Sept. 20th "Five Dollar Friday" to help the cause. Forget the latte that day and help a good cause. This is a wonderful family that was ripped apart by some sicko. If you can help, it would be greatly appreciated….Thanks….Pit

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Bike Ride Aug 11th Fundraiser

Paula Toti with Channel 12 news came to the house last night to talk with me. Very nice lady!! This was an interview on how much Heartstone Foundation has helped us. They are having a bike riding event. Please also remember you can donate to Danny directly via paypal (right side bar of this page) or to Fifth Third bank under the O'Keefe Family Assistance Fund. 
The interview is here:

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

May 17th Fundraiser

Two years ago Danny O'Keefe was brutally attacked and left for dead during a home invasion.  His tenacity and fight for life helped in sparing his life that day. Danny has difficulty with things that we take for granted. Due to the attack Danny now has long-term injuries with Aphasia (similar to what US Rep. Gabby Gifford has) and has to re-learn to speak, read, write and move his arm and fingers. Danny's medical bills are astounding and insurance doesn't cover his Aphasia therapy at the Univ. of Michigan.

A Fundraiser will be hosted this Friday, May 17th 7pm-11pm at Moeller High School to raise money for Danny's physical therapy at the Univ. of Michigan Aphasia program.
For more information, and to read Danny's Story, visit http://www.dannyokeefe.org/
Tickets are $50 preordered online, or $55 at the door.
Each ticket includes unlimited beer, wine and soft drinks, Montgomery Inn sandwiches and sides.
The $500 VIP table (10 tickets) includes a bottle of champagne.

There will be a live local band and over $30,000 in auction items including:
- 2 roundtrip tickets with private jet service from Ultimate Air from Lunken to NYC, Chicago and Charlotte.
- Autographed Reds jerseys and baseballs from Votto, Phillips and Chapman
- Autographed OSU gear
- Catered dinner for 8 by a personal chef in your home
- 1 week home rental in Florida
- Long weekend home rental in Harbor Springs, Michigan
- Vegas Slot Machine
- Reds tickets: Diamond, suite, club and more!
over $1,000 in jewelry
over $1,000 in Spa services
over $1,000 in restaurant gift cards
a lot of tickets to local events and attractions!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Two-years ago today...

Two years ago today, May 6, 2011 a man broke in to my daughter’s home. (I
remember this date better than any other.) This monster broke in with the intent
to kill. We were given two miracles; both our children lived through this
attack.  They have done so with their strength and courage.  Our daughter has
been able to move on in her life, a true blessing. Our son, Danny still is
struggling to recover.  He’ll need intense speech, physical, and occupational
therapy for some time to come.  We are fighting to get his life back.

My son has lost all the things he loved to do. He’s a lawyer. He studied hard. He loved to run,
read, and play the drums. He wants his life back.  He is making great progress!
We are asking for your help in helping him reclaim his life.  The parents I
baby-sit for are putting on a fund raiser May 17 at Moeller High School. Please
come out and support Danny. We have funded Danny’s therapy this past year on
your generosity and kindness. Thank you for your support.  Kathy O'Keefe


Saturday, March 30, 2013

May 17th Fundraiser

We have been so blessed with such amazing generosity. Thank you so much to everyone. We are still desperate to keep Danny's aphasia treatment program funded. We hope you can attend this event. Thank you!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

I posted on REDDIT CHARITY HELP today. Please go and vote for A letter from Danny's Mom. You sign in to reddit and just push the UP arrow in the left hand corner next to the letter. Please help gain attention for the O'Keefe Family Charity on the front page of Reddit. Very easy, all you need to do is:
1. Click the link below, or copy and paste: http://www.reddit.com/r/charity
2. Click the up arrow to the left of the top story entitled, "A LETTER FROM DANNY'S MOM"
3. If you do not have a Reddit account, the only thing left to do is pick a username, password, and enter the code displayed. Very easy, and you don't have to share any personal information.
It 30 seconds tops. Please help and thank you!
We have a couple fund raisers coming up. First:
Eyes on Tomorrow Presents: A Benefit for Danny O'keefe 
 Featuring: AZYGOUS
March 16 at 5:00pm

The second will May 17th at Moeller High School (more information to follow.)

Friday, March 8, 2013

I'm a classmate of Danny's from UD. I'm in a blog contest right now for "made it myself" items. The prize is a donation to the cause of my choice and an iPod Shuffle. I plan to give both the money AND the iPod to the O'Keefe family fund (to... raffle the iPod for money). But I need voting help!!

Can you put up a post to vote for me on this page? My name is Elaine - UD Class of 2006. VOTE BEFORE SUNDAY AT 2 P.M. CT www.jameystegmaier.com/2013/03/tournament-of-made-it-myself-finals/
See More
3Like · ·

Thursday, February 28, 2013

I went to Skyline for dinner the other night. As I was putting a dot of hot sauce on each oyster cracker I was eating, it reminded me of the numerous trips Danny and I have taken to Skyline.
We would often go to lunch when we worked together at Natorp's in high school and eat way too many cheese coneys. This would cause the afternoon to be a struggle, and result in avoiding heavylifting by all means necessary.
The most memorable trips, however, were in college when we would drive off campus at University of Dayton to get Skyline. We would average going about once a month, and it was always a great time. I learned from Danny the proper way to eat at Skyline:
1. While waiting to order/waiting for food, put a dot of hot sauce on each oyster cracker and eat.
2. When cheese coneys arrive, insert four oyster crackers into the coney, add salt, and add hot sauce.
3. The first bite of the first cheese coney, and the last bite of the last cheese coney are always the two best.
Danny would always be amazed/disgusted/amused at the speed and rate I would eat cheese coneys. Not only would I be finished with 5 cheese coneys by the time he was just starting his second, but I would also eat each one by only taking two bites. Danny's pace of eating would be slowed by his mixed emotions of laughing and shaking his head. Every trip to Skyline guaranteed a great time.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

"Hi Kathy,

Just wanted to let you know, you are on my mind often. Sorry I haven’t had an opportunity to stop by...AT ALL! Please know that I love and miss you, as do Charlie and Jack.

Charlie’s birthday is next month and we just mailed out birthday party invitations to her friends. The below text was included in the invitations; completely Charlie’s idea. Love that girl, she has a wonderful soul.

Charlie’s Birthday Wish

In lieu of presents, Charlie would prefer a donation be made to a charity that is very close to her heart, The O’Keefe Family Medical Assistance Fund.

The O’Keefe’s are close family friends and continue to need assistance. Please visit the below website to read their story and make a donation.

Love you!!!"
We are so touched! I use to baby sit for Charlie and Jack. They are part of the "family" What a wonderful young lady. Thank you, Charlie. Love  you, Kathy


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Danny is in on going therapy. He takes PT to help with core muscles and help him re-learn to walk. He is walking but his gate is uneven. Danny would like to run again. He’s in OT and Rob his therapist is helping him get movement back in his right arm. The improvements are there, just slow. As for speech, we’ve seen a lot of improvement in his reading, writing, and speech. UMAP was a good choice. ...We asked everyone for help to get him there, now we need help to keep him there. Danny’s speech therapy alone is $1000/day. You can donate to any Fifth/Third account or at pay pal account. You can donate directly to the University of Michigan Aphasia Program under Danny’s name. We know we wouldn’t be this far without you! I don’t like to keep asking for help, but I find a mom will do anything to help her child.
We do have a couple of fund raisers coming up. The first one is scheduled for April 13, 2013 at Dave and Busters. Thank you again for all of your support!