In Memory of Keegan Burnett

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In Memory of Keegan Burnett

Unread postby master » Wed Sep 12, 2012 6:17 pm

In memory of a pole vaulting friend, Keegan Burnett.

Keegan_cr.jpg
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http://www.sweethomefuneral.com/memoria ... tt-Keegan/

Keegan Richard Burnett
Apr. 5, 1984 - Sep. 10, 2012

Keegan Richard Burnett, 28, of Sweet Home passed away Monday. He was born in Albany to Rick and Alice (Inselman) Burnett.

Keegan is survived by: his parents, Rick and Alice Burnett of Sweet Home; sisters, McKenna and Shaina of Sweet Home; grandmothers, Jessie Burnett Johnson and Mary Inselman of Sweet Home; and many aunts, uncles, and cousins.

He was preceded in death by his grandfathers, Red Burnett and John Inselman, and cousin, Carrie Inselman.


Contributions may be made in Keegan's memory to: Sweet Home High School Track & Field Program; Sweet Home High School; 1641 Long Street; Sweet Home, OR 97386.
A memorial service will take place at 2:00 p.m., Saturday, September 15, 2012 at Sweet Home Evangelical Church.



After surviving a life threatening pole vaulting accident, he also experienced an extremely severe snow boarding accident...

http://democratherald.com/news/local/albany-man-seriously-injured-in-hoodoo-ski-accident/article_960af25e-4e8c-11e1-97a8-001871e3ce6c.html

February 04, 2012 6:19 am • By Alex Paul, Albany Democrat-Herald(0) Comments

Shown here before his recent skiing accident, Keegan Burnett, who recovered from one life-threatening head injury in 2007, landed badly while skiing at Hoodoo on Jan. 28. (Provided photo)

Enlarge Photo
A former Sweet Home High School athlete who nearly died after a college pole vaulting accident in 2007 is being treated for a serious spinal cord injury at St. Charles Medical Center in Bend.

Keegan Burnett, 27, who now lives in Albany, is paralyzed from the waist down after a night skiing accident at Hoodoo Ski Area on Jan. 28. He is the son of Rick and Alice Burnett and a 2002 Sweet Home graduate.

“Keegan was skiing Saturday night with friends and the accident occurred when he tried to make a jump,” his mother said. “He said he made the jump twice before.”

Doctors told the Burnetts that Keegan “folded himself in half and landed on his head.”

“It completely blew out his T12 vertebrae and ruptured the C4 and C5 vertebrae,” his mother said.

The accident happened about 9 p.m. and Keegan was taken to St. Charles Medical Center by ambulance.

He had surgery on Sunday, his mother said, and doctors installed a “cage” around the T12 vertebrae and cleaned up the others.

“His spinal cord was not severed, but it was severely crushed,” Burnett said. “The doctor said it is highly unlikely that Keegan will ever be able to walk again. It’s a miracle that he’s alive.”

Burnett said doctors are especially concerned about a concussion Keegan suffered, and he had CAT scans to determine if there was any brain swelling every day for the first three or four days he was in the hospital.

Back in May 2007, Keegan suffered a traumatic head injury while pole vaulting for the Idaho State University Bengals track team during a meet in Utah.

Coming down, he struck his head on concrete that had not been covered with a protective mat. A portion of his skull had to be removed due to swelling of his brain. Keegan was in the intensive care unit at McKay-Dee Hospital for weeks and lost more than 35 pounds.

“Because of the previous injury, Keegan reacts differently than other people and the severity of a concussion is much more severe,” his mother said.

After healing, Keegan completed a degree in human physiology from the University of Oregon in 2008.

“He recently applied to graduate schools in human physiology at the UO, Oregon State and Arizona,” Burnett said. “He just got a temporary job at Entek in Lebanon and had worked one day before the accident.”

Burnett also received an Emergency Medical Technician certificate from Linn-Benton Community College last spring and has been a volunteer with Philomath Fire & Rescue.
- master . . . http://www.plvlt.com

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Re: In Memory of Keegan Burnett

Unread postby rainbowgirl28 » Wed Sep 12, 2012 11:38 pm

Paul Litchfield shares some very personal insights into the tragic deaths of Keegan and Jackie: http://iamtuxedoman.blogspot.com/2012/0 ... l?spref=fb

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Re: In Memory of Keegan Burnett

Unread postby Polevaulter2012 » Thu Sep 13, 2012 2:06 am

You will be missed Keegan. It was a pleasure to know you and I thank you for all the support you have given me.

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Re: In Memory of Keegan Burnett

Unread postby 73-vaulter » Thu Sep 13, 2012 8:54 am

Keegan, we will all miss you.

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Re: In Memory of Keegan Burnett

Unread postby master » Thu Sep 13, 2012 12:57 pm

Last night, Keegan's mother posted this on his "Caring Bridge" web page:

(http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/keeganburnett

Sad news

Written 11 hours ago by Alice Burnett

We are shocked and saddened and sorry to have to inform all of you that life in its present form got to be too much for Keegan and he chose to take his own life on Monday.
We just have to keep in mind that he is in a much better place, running and jumping with the best of them, pain free. We truly feel that the brain injury he suffered in this last accident compounded the one he had received 5 years ago and really inhibited his ability to cope with this situation. We’ll always love him, we’ll never forget him, and we’ll miss him forever.
A memorial service is scheduled for Saturday, September 15 at 2:00pm at the Evangelical Church in Sweet Home.
- master . . . http://www.plvlt.com

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Re: In Memory of Keegan Burnett

Unread postby master » Mon Sep 17, 2012 1:30 am

(http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/keeganburnett

Tribute to Keegan Richard Burnett

Written 10 hours ago by Alice Burnett (Keegan's mother)

Saturday, September 15, 2012 we had a beautiful memorial service for Keegan in Sweet Home. Hundreds of people attended in the same church Keegan attended throughout his life. Pastor Steve Hopper did a wonderful service and several of Keegan’s coaches and friends shared special moments about him

The following is what I wrote and gave to Steve to read at the service:

Keegan Richard Burnett - A Man of Movement

Keegan was born April 5, 1984 in Albany, OR. He was always an active little boy, curious and rambunctious, smart and quick thinking, and determined to do things his way. He attended school in Sweet Home, graduating in 2002. He was an Eagle Scout. He was not a natural born athlete, but his drive and determination led him to develop a work ethic that established him as a sound competitor in soccer, wrestling and his passion - pole vaulting.

He began his college life at LBCC studying engineering but, since they did not have a track team, he transferred during his second year to Lane Community College. At the end of his two years there he held the college pole vaulting record at 16' 5-1/4". He went on to compete for two years as an NCAA Division 1 athlete - one year at the University of Oregon, and his final year of eligibility he competed at Idaho State University in Pocatello, ID. It was while competing there that he suffered a traumatic brain injury during a jump.

The next five years of his life he turned that drive and determination into recovering from the brain injury. He returned to the University of Oregon and graduated in 2008 with a degree in Human Physiology, while continuing to pole vault with his friends in Eugene . In January 2011 he traveled to Hungary and the Netherlands to visit friends. We are so glad that he did that, even though at the time we thought he was crazy for going in the dead of winter in January! Later that spring he got his EMT certification and began working as a volunteer EMT at the Philomath Fire Dept. At the time of his accident in January 2012 he was applying to grad school to get his Masters degree in Human Physiology.

Keegan was a truly kind and gentle person at heart. He loved animals, and was especially thoughtful and considerate to his family (but that's not to say that he didn't get irritated with us at times). He dearly loved his Grandmas and enjoyed spending time with them, eating Mayonnaise Cake and playing games (and yes sometimes he even cheated, but mostly just to see if Grandma would notice). He could be described as stubborn and definitely had his way of doing things. He could also be extremely disciplined, especially when it came to sports, money and his health. This led to him living his life on a shoestring while investing every single penny into his long term goal of becoming a millionaire. He was very health conscious and was always trying to inspire his family to follow suit.

After the traumatic brain injury in 2007 he was warned by doctors that another hit to the head, even of much less severity, could have disasterous consequences. Your brain can only bounce back so many times. And while he did listen to that advice, he did not let it keep him from the many risky pursuits that made him feel alive and happy. Consequently the hit to the head he took in his last accident did have lasting consequences. In his recent past he had also lost someone whom he loved dearly and that combined with the injuries and resulting physical limitations, was just more than this man of movement could cope with. He just could not embrace the changes in his life. For him it was perfection or nothing. Life in a wheelchair was not an option.

Keegan did not do this to free us of the burden of taking care of him. And we're sure he didn't rush into it. He never rushed into anything (you learned that real quick if you ever paid him by the hour to do a job. The job would be done to perfection but it would cost you ten times what it should have). And the method he used was but one that he could choose from. But he couldn't run and he couldn't jump. And he couldn't settle for less than perfection. We don't at all consider this a cowardly act on his part. He was simply a strong, stubborn man stuck in an impossible situation, robbed of his abilities to cope.

For us, we are left with an emptiness in our lives and hearts that will never be filled. For Keegan, he is in a better place. His pain is gone, his psyche is healed and he can run and jump with the best of them.

Vault on Keegan.

If you want to honor Keegan then take to heart his beliefs about health, wealth and family. Take care of this body that God gave you, nourish it with a healthy diet, and get and stay fit. Stay financially healthy. Don't live beyond your means, plan for the future and save before you spend. And lastly, love your family with all of your heart, just as Keegan did.
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Re: In Memory of Keegan Burnett

Unread postby Keegan's Mom » Mon Sep 17, 2012 11:15 pm

This is Keegan’s mom. I just wanted to let all of Keegan’s friends know that if you ever want to message us or call us (we’re in the book) please do. We would love that. Paul Litchfield and Ben Allen were here for Keegan’s service and spent the night with us and several of his track and vaulting friends came to the service and we had a great time talking with them. We loved following Keegan around the country watching him and many of you vault. We directed that donations in Keegan’s honor go to the Sweet Home High School Track Team. The coach is going to have a cover built for the pole vault pit and dedicate it to Keegan next year. We have an idea of trying to arrange some kind of vault or exhibition that day of the dedication. If we do we will post the details here. Thank you all for being a friend to our son. He loved your world. Rick & Alice Burnett


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