Before Annika charmed the city with her violin, there was Keegan. A young talent with an old soul that stole Mount Dora's heart. Now that young man needs his community.
Immediately after talented and humble Keegan Neverett took up singing and playing guitar at a downtown corner bench, people took notice of the teen's talent. As visitors stopped to show appreciation and encourage him, most never knew his mother, Kristie, was always just a stone's throw away keeping a watchful eye.
On March 20th, tragedy stuck when Keegan suffered a major traumatic spinal injury in a car accident in Nashville, where he had been working and studying organic farming. His spine was severed and four rods were surgically inserted for stabilization. Keegan has no movement in his legs and will be in a wheelchair. He spent 10 days at Vanderbilt Hospital's trauma unit and is currently undergoing intensive occupational and physical therapy at The Vanderbilt Stallworth Rehabilitation Hospital, renowned for their spinal cord program.
Keegan is expected to be able to return home to Florida at the end of the month. Meanwhile, his family is trying to retro-fit their home to make it accessible for him, as well as raise funds to help him with mounting expenses.
Keegan, a former student of Mount Dora High School and Mount Dora Christian Academy, regularly played gigs at The Gourmet Spot, The Wine Den. Maggie's Attic, Whispering Winds and Mount Dora Coffee House in downtown Mount Dora.
As as teen, Keegan was mature, dependable and responsible beyond his years. Perhaps due in part to his father, Jason's service in Iraq as part of the 53rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team and later as a private security contractor in Afghanistan during most of Keegan's high school years.
In addition to awestruck passersby, Keegan's performances often drew a supply of giddy young admirers shyly peering around the corner to catch a glimpse of the object of their affection. It was preciously conspicuous to everyone except Keegan, likely blinded by his humility.
As the 2014 Mount Dora High School graduate sprouted past six feet tall, his talent blossomed, too. Keegan, now 20, will no doubt still go on to do amazing things. Meanwhile, he has mounting medical and therapy expenses. If you would like to help him, please click here.
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Above & Below: Keegan as a young teen playing outside Maggie's Attic and again later.
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