SHAWNEE — Raegan Permetter doesn't remember anything about the hit-and-run accident that upended her life and nearly killed her.
Raegan, 11, was crossing a street on foot in Shawnee on Sept. 26 when she was struck by a car. Her skull was fractured, as was part of her face. She also had a brain hemorrhage and a lacerated spleen.
Raegan spent two weeks at The Children's Hospital at OU Medical Center in Oklahoma City, before being transferred to The Children's Center in Bethany for rehabilitation.
She already is beating her doctor's best guess on her recovery.
“She's doing a lot better than was expected,” her mother, Molly Ealy, said. “With brain injuries they just don't know, and we still don't know, but they told us initially she would be at Children's Hospital for four to six weeks, and she was out in two.”
She can communicate but still has trouble with her memory.
“She has trouble with reasoning, and her personality is a little bit different than it was,” Ealy said. “She could make it all the way back, but we just don't know that yet. She's come a long way faster than anyone expected already.”
Shawnee police questioned a 17-year-old driver after the accident. They have turned their findings over to the Pottawattamie County district attorney's office for review. No charges have been filed.
Raegan was active in youth soccer in Shawnee. She began playing midfielder this year and loves going to school.
“She's a straight-A student,” Ealy said. “She's a typical preteen girl that loves sports and being with her friends.”
Raegan is expected to remain at The Children's Center for about three weeks. Ealy spends every day at her daughter's side. The commute from Shawnee has been a difficult adjustment for the family. Ealy's husband is an oil-field worker, and the family also includes Raegan's brother, Taylor, 12.
“I might leave for an hour to go back to Shawnee, but it's been very busy,” Ealy said. “She has physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy. She has a busy schedule all day.”
Benefit is planned
Family friends have organized Raegan Dayz, set for Nov. 16-18 at the Bethel Baseball Fields. The event will include an adult T-ball tournament, live music, an appearance by champion noodler Don “Katt Daddy” Brewer and an Elvis impersonator.
“It's just been astonishing,” Ealy said of the community's response. “We knew that we loved her, but there have been so many people who have shown they love her, too. Words can't describe it.”
Family friend Billy Mitchell decided to organize what he thought would be a small benefit that has turned into something much bigger. He said the goal is to raise as much money as possible to help with expenses not covered by insurance. Vendors will also donate a portion of their proceeds to the family.
“It's just blown up over the last five days,” Mitchell said. “We've had so many people who want to take time out to help.”
Mitchell's own daughter battled kidney failure as a toddler.
“My daughter's situation isn't as traumatic as Raegan's, but I know what it's like to have a child in and out of the hospital,” he said. “I know what it's like to need help but not know how to ask for it.”
IF YOU GO
Admission to Raegan Dayz is by donation at the gate. The T-ball tournament is $22 per person and includes a Raegan Dayz T-shirt. Organizer Billy Mitchell said he is looking for more vendors and donations of equipment for the event. For more information, call Mitchell at 882-9259.
It's just been astonishing. We knew that we loved her, but there have been so many people who have shown they love her, too. Words can't describe it.”