One day at a time: Couple adjusts to life after tragic event


Life can change in an instant. That is one truth that Kathy Steever knows firsthand. It is nearly one year ago to the day that her life changed dramatically after a shooting occurred at her workplace leaving her paralyzed from the neck down. Kathy and her husband, Todd made time last Friday to visit with me about the changes and challenges that they face everyday.

Kathy said, “It’s really changed our lives — all of us — and that’s the worst of it.”

Todd said his focus is taking things, “one day at a time.”

Kathy’s injury occurred on Feb. 12th, 2015 and since that time she has been in and out of hospitals. Todd explained she started out at Sanford Hospital in Sioux Falls, then she went to Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital in Lincoln, NE for nearly five months and now resides at Good Samaritan Society-Sioux Falls Village since July. With her paralysis, she also deals with short-term memory issues as the result of a stroke, some days are better than others. Kathy also has vision trouble that makes it hard for her to read. The vision problem also creates phantom images, so at times Kathy said she sees things that aren’t there. Kathy said, “It’s disappointing… to see things.”

She explained one instance where she thought she was holding Todd’s hand, but she wasn’t. She said, “My hands think they’re normal, they haven’t been told they’re paralyzed.”

Kathy’s sense of humor shines through as she strives to remain positive in her situation.

“The best part of my day is when Todd and the kids come up,” Kathy said.

Todd and Kathy have been married 15 years and together have two children, Levi (age 13) and Cassidy (age 10). Todd said the kids are doing good. He added proudly, “They both are on the Honor Roll.”

Kathy smiles at the mention of the kids.

She said she was able to go to one of her daughter’s basketball games recently. When asked if the experience was challenging, she said, “It’s ok, of course people don’t know where to look.”

She was also able to attend a concert in Sioux Falls to see one of her favorite musicians, Rick Springfield. She said that experience was awesome. She was able to meet the rock star legend and has a cutout in her room to remember the occasion. She speaks fondly of her friends that come to visit and laughs as she tells about a shopping experience. She said not all of the places you go are easy to maneuver in a wheelchair and at one place they knocked over a rack of clothes.

Perspective is one thing the Steevers agree has changed in their lives. Todd said, “You don’t think about those thing until you’re in that satiation.”

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