By Stacy Engebretson. CREATED Oct 9, 2013
Green Bay, WI -- A tragic accident has turned a Green Bay woman's life upside down. As she battles to get better, the community is rallying behind the 19-year-old to help with her recovery.
Jane Stastny got the dreaded call about her daughter on July 21st.
"I trembled. I was nauseous. I couldn't believe that this was the phone call."
A driver crossed the center line and hit 19-year-old Keegan Herwald's car head-on.
"We weren't sure if Keegan was going to make it for the first four days. It was touch and go, and we just prayed and prayed," said Stastny.
Keegan had several surgeries for internal bleeding and suffered a crushed collarbone, pelvis, legs and arm. Her passion of working with Green Bay Animal Control, attending college to become a veterinary assistant and teaching swimming at the YMCA are all put on hold while she rehabilitates in a De Pere nursing home.
"For Keegan to be laying in a bed, depending on everyone for everything, is challenging and difficult for her," explains her mom.
"Everybody says when something bad happens, 'Oh they're such a nice person.' You know, it's true," said Jason Murphy.
Murphy is a family friend who is organizing a benefit for Keegan at the Green Bay Distillery on October 13th. It will include bands, raffles and silent auction items.
"I just want to fill that room and just overwhelm her with just knowing that there's that many people out there that want to help her out, and that want to contribute, and that care about her."
One of those people is Keegan's former Preble High School teacher. Patrick Wallace is now a co-head football coach at Green Bay Southwest High School.
"We've got a platform that can help promote this event, and it can make an impact not only on their lives but on our athletes, so why don't we connect the two," explains Wallace.
Volunteers will pass donation cans through the stands for a "Miracle Minute" during this Friday's football game at Southwest. Players will also help out during Sunday's benefit. It's all part of the team's "Word of the Week" program.
"Each week, we have a different word that we try to emphasize and learn more about. We have a different coach explain it, and this week it's selfless service," said Nick Czyz, a senior wide receiver. "To me, it just means going out of your way to help someone else who could use it."
Senior running back, Jake Gorzek adds, "It's more or less just learning to be a better person, give of yourself more than maybe you've gotten, because you never know when you're going to need something."
They're young men who are leaving a lasting impact both on and off the football field by helping Keegan win her battle to get better.
"She can't make the money to pay the student loans if she's laying in a bed, so everything that the community is doing is just so important, and Keegan will give back to the community because that's all she knows how to do," said her mom.
Organizers hope to raise $15,000 to $20,000 to help Keegan with her medical bills and college expenses. Again, you can donate during the October 11th football game at Green Bay Southwest High School and at Keegan's benefit which is this Sunday, October 13th from 3:00-10:00pm at the Green Bay Distillery.
Click here for more information.