“It's hard to be on the receiving end,” Jan said, “but we want everyone to know that all they have done is so appreciated. Our foremost concern is being with Chad, but we try to make it to as many of these as we can — because we are very thankful.”
Jan kept thinking someone would wake her from this nightmare. That hasn't happened.
“As a mom, one of the hardest things you ever go through is seeing your child hurt, and that doesn't go away when they've grown up,” she said. “So watching him from the first night in so much pain that he didn't want me in there ...
“He didn't want me to see him in that pain, and it was hard to not be in there with him.”
She knows they are not alone, that others are suffering in this. Members of the law enforcement community have been there at the hospital.
“They're hurting as bad as we are; he is part of their family,” Jan said. “It's a different family, but it is very much a family. They depend on each other for their lives day to day. So it is probably as strong a bond in many ways as we as have.”
It was about two weeks before Jan could find the strength and time to start reading the hundreds and hundreds of emails from friends and total strangers, including some people her son had helped as an officer. She soon realized that for so many people, this was personal.
“We've had several people who have known him since grade school who said he was always a kid who stood up for the underdog,” Jan said.
An officer who was paralyzed in the line of duty visited them.
And she was given a bracelet that reads “Never give up” by the mother of Katie Lawson, an Oklahoma City police officer shot multiple times Aug. 29, 2010, after helping a county sheriff's deputy respond to a drunken driving call.
“People are amazing,” Jan said. “They just keep finding their own way to reach out.”
How to help
The Chad Peery Benefit Fund
Municipal Employees Credit Union
c/o: Chad Peery Donation Fund
3561 W Memorial Road
Oklahoma City, OK 73134