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First Published Monday, 11th August, 2008.

CELEBRATING KEITH KENNEDY

Kennedys can’t thank people enough
Grantsburg area celebrate the success of the Keith Kennedy story.
By Todd Beckmann

“It’s just a small piece of the thanks we owe everybody,” a joyous Linda Kennedy said Saturday night as the Kennedy family welcomed hundreds of volunteers who helped in the search for their son Keith to a party at Crex Convention Center in Grantsburg.

“We can never thank people enough — it’s just a treat and an honor to be here with these people and the guy they were searching for,” she continued.

Keith is the 25 year-old autistic man who walked away from Trade Lake Camp June 15 and was missing for a week. With the official search set to be called off the night of June 22, officers determined they had enough light left for one final search and that’s when Keith was discovered, about a mile and a half from camp.

He is almost fully recovered from his week in the woods.

“At the beginning he was trying to beat pneumonia, he had E. coli, a bacteria in his blood and a chronic fever, but he has overcome just about everything,” Linda Kennedy explained.

“His kidney is doing well and he is just trying to gain some strength, gain some weight and regain some stamina,” she added.

While Keith was at the family home in Roseville, MN immediately after being discharged from the hospital, he has now returned to his group home in Shoreview.

“He’s very comfortable there, has his own room and has people who love him there,” Linda Kennedy pointed out. “We have him visit us a lot because we need a lot of Keith fixes.”

The man of the hour Keith Kennedy, who was sporting a “One last search” tee-shirt, was smiling, saying “Hi’ to people and enjoying the cake.

Well-known now for his proclivity to walk away when he thinks no one is watching, Keith tried to walk out of the convention center at one point early on in the celebration.

“Keith! Stay. Not again, please,” father Bruce Kennedy was overheard saying.

Even though the party was set to last until 11 p.m., the Kennedy’s were only staying in Grantsburg until about 8 p.m.

“We’ve got to get him home so he can take his meds but also so he can get ready for his big day tomorrow,” she said.

“He’s going to throw out the opening pitch of the Twins game,” Linda Kennedy declared.

The Twins had been honoring first responders all week, from the Hugo (MN) tornado, the I-35 Bridge collapse and the search for Keith among others. Sunday was First Responder Day at the Metrodome and first responders, firefighters, law enforcement personnel, paramedics, all could get into the game for $1.

“Because first responders played such a key part in his story, they asked him to throw out the first pitch,” she continued. “To us the real miracle is that six weeks ago we didn’t know if we’d ever see him again.”

Source: http://www.burnettcountysentinel.com/read/detail/29181.html

“Keith Kennedy Family Video, 2006”:

http://www.startribune.com/video/20646554.html?elr=KArks:DCiUHc3E7_V_nDaycUiacyKUU



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