“As long as he had a ball and bat in his hand he was a happy kid.” Ellen Rogers talks about her son Ned Sullivan, who five years ago was just like any other college senior.
But that’s when life, just stopped.
“It’s that call every parent dreads,” recalls Ellen.
Ned had a seizure behind the wheel and crashed into a brick wall and broke his neck. He was paralyzed from the neck down. He spent a long year in the hospital getting better, but when he got home, he got worse.
Ned says, “I always felt alone and stuck and depressed.”
But then his sister was invited to a school assembly and the topic? Helping Hands Helper Monkeys. The organization helps people with spinal cord injuries by giving them monkey to help with everyday tasks.
Ned’s mom knew this was the answer. Pretty soon, they had little five-pound Kasey.
Ned says, “I had more confidence, more pep to my step.”
Kasey’s life is helping — from turning on lights, to music, to playing games with Ned. She is there for it all. She sleeps in his room. She has become his partner and friend.
Ned says, “More than just companionship, I always felt like she’s a wingman. She’s like a copilot.”
Ellen says, “She fills a huge void in his life.”
A life not over after the accident, just re-directed and once again filled with hope.
“He has a mission now,” says Ellen, “all we have to do is look to him and we are inspired.”
Kasey and Ned travel to schools to speak to kids, and Kasey will stay with Ned for the rest of her life.