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Things 'going well' for monsignor hurt at game
O'Keeffe grateful to well-wishers
“Things are going well,” for Monsignor Richard O'Keeffe, he told the Yuma Sun on Tuesday. “I am going through the therapy. I am making good progress.”â€¨O'Keeffe is recovering at Yuma Rehabilitation Hospital with injuries he received during a football game Nov. 10.
During the Saturday game, O'Keeffe was watching from the sidelines of the Yuma Catholic-Phoenix Scottsdale Christian football game at Gilbert Williams Field when linebackers went out of bounds and smashed into him.
“They cracked the shoulder,” he said.
A church deacon brought O'Keeffe back to Yuma and dropped him off at home. Sometime later that night, or early the next morning, O'Keeffe fell in his home and couldn't get up. When he didn't come to mass Sunday morning, a church member went to his residence and found him on the floor. He had fallen out of bed and hit his head.
He was taken to Yuma Regional Medical Center and later transferred to the rehabilitation hospital to heal.
“I'd say in about another week I should be out of here,” he said, noting he is hopeful to return to celebrating mass in the coming months, “if I follow all the instructions and everything like that.”
He said he is grateful to all the well-wishers who in recent days have contacted him to express their concern, he added. “People have called me from all over the country.”
He has kept all those who have contacted him in his prayers, he continued.
The monsignor served at Immaculate Conception Church for 37 years before retiring in 2010. He has remained active with the church and Yuma Catholic High School ever since.
O'Keeffe said he is “looking forward to” completing a number of procedures that have been scheduled to help him recover from his injuries in the near future, and is determined to succeed.
“I'll tell you one thing, that resilience in us Irish...when we need to do it, we do it. We are pigheaded enough to try and do that.”