Ed Keefer and family with Charlie Moyers
February 23, 2021 – You can try to praise Ed Keefer for what he did for Charlie Moyers, but the way Ed sees it, he had no choice
Ed said –
“Everybody else cut away from Charlie, because of the virus.I couldn’t leave him alone.”
What Ed, Charlie’s Direct Service Provider (DSP), did was stay with Charlie when both tested positive for the coronavirus in May. Charlie needed help to get through the day. Ed was committed to providing that help. So Ed stayed with Charlie day and night in his apartment in Celina, until Ed couldn’t stay anymore—with worsening COVID-19 symptoms, he had to get to the hospital.
Ed, who is 74, remembers the day he dragged himself out to the car to drive himself to the hospital. Charlie walked with him.
“I could only take about two steps at a time and then I had to stop and rest. Charlie walked me out to the car to make sure I made it.”
As they said goodbye, Ed was aware he might not see Charlie again.
“I was really bad. I was one of the lucky ones.”
Lucky because he lived. Ed spent four weeks in the hospital, away from his family, his wife, Lil, and Charlie. He still has lingering health issues from the virus.
For his selfless service to Charlie, Ed received the Mercer Board of Developmental Disability’s first-ever DSP of the Year Award.
Ed also received a commendation from the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities.
Ohio DD Director Jeff Davis wrote –
“I hereby commend you, Ed Keefer, for your sacrifices and for caring for Charlie through his illness, putting your own life at risk. “I also thank you for all you do every day, being an empathetic person who truly cares for others. It truly takes a special person to do the work you do, especially at this time and I am so appreciative of you.”
Ed first went to work at Charlie’s DSP in November 2019. In an earlier career, he spent years in management in various manufacturing plants. He has worked and lived in many places around the country. And this is what he believes:
“The day I was born, I was put on a path. No matter where that path leads me, that’s where I am supposed to be. And I think my path ended up here for a reason. I’m serious about that.”
Working as a DSP with Charlie is Ed’s way of paying back all the goodness he’s seen during his life.
“I worked hard all my life. I put in a lot of days, a lot of hours, busy, busy, busy all the time. But I’d never done anything like this before. I thought this would be a way to give back to the community.”
Jessica Heck-Stelzer is the Mercer DD Service and Support Administrator assigned to Charlie. She has watched the relationship between Ed and Charlie grow.
“They are like brothers.”
Ed is a little gruff about all this fuss.
“Don’t make me out to be a saint.”
He’s just a man who knows he’s on the right path.
(For more information, contact Mercer DD Superintendent Shawn Thieman at 419-586-2369.)