Kevin’s situation

On November 15, 2011, Kevin Neary was shot in the upper shoulder area as he was walking to his apartment in Northern Liberties. As a result, Kevin is paralyzed below the neck. This website is a place where we’ll post updates on Kevin’s situation and enlist your help for the long road ahead.

The night of Monday, November 14th, Kevin had gone to the Penn basketball game, then met up with a friend in his neighborhood (Northern Liberties). After walking his friend home, Kevin was followed for several blocks by Christopher Easton, then age 20.  When Kevin was just steps away from the entrance to his building, Easton shot Kevin in an attempted robbery. Kevin was conscious when the police arrived, but lost consciousness on the way to the hospital. The Philadelphia Police were able to identify a suspect and were able to locate him fairly quickly with the help of the news media and the many people who helped find him. We were immensely grateful when we found out that he was off the streets so that we could focus on getting Kevin the best care possible.

Soon after Kevin arrived at the hospital, it became clear to the doctors that there was significant damage to his spinal column. The bullet ripped through his spinal cord at the C5 level, leaving Kevin largely paralyzed below the neck. Although the injury was initially thought to be at the C5 level, the percussive effects of the bullet injured Kevin’s spinal cord up to the C1 level, which means that Kevin needs assistance breathing from a ventilator or his pacer device.

At first, the situation was hard for those of us who know him to accept. Kevin is the most outgoing, warm, energetic person you’ll ever meet. It’s hard to think that so much of his life has been taken away from him.  But as time goes by, it’s becoming apparent what a blessing it is that he’s with us. And his spirit has been incredibly positive throughout his recovery. He’s an amazing testament to the human spirit and the importance of maintaining a positive attitude.

We want to thank everyone for your love, support, and offers to help. It’s really great to know that Kevin has so many people that want to help and will support him as he gets better.

One of the amazing things about Kevin is that he finds a way to make everything work. With all of your help, we’re doing what we can to help him make it work.

If you would like to receive updates, please click the “follow” button to the right. If you have any questions, refer to the tabs above or email Chris ( or Joe (


18 thoughts on “Kevin’s situation”

  1. Kevin hang in their buddy my thoughts and prayers are with ya.

    Todd lutseo

  2. Bridget L. Bassett said:

    I am so so painfully sorry that this happened to such a warm,funny, delightful young man. It is so hard to process, I cannot even squish it in my head.
    Prayers are the only comfort that can be given, that and the justice that will be given when this Mr. Easter goes to jail for a looooooong time.
    Please know I am thinking of you all.
    Bridget L. Bassett

  3. Cassandra F. said:

    I have never met you before, but have been following your story since the night it initially happened and although I do not know you, I do know you are incredibly strong, brave and courageous. You have such a strong support system which will help you exceed your goals during this long road. My prayers for you and your family will continue and I look forward to reading your continuing progress! Stay strong and keep on smiling!

    • Thank you so much for following Kevin’s story. It means so much to us that there has been such an incredible outpouring of support from family, friends, and those we have yet to meet.
      Joe (Kevin’s older brother)

      • Susan Davis said:

        I am a friend of Emily Livingston and am supporting her in the marathon in Kevin’s honor. I have a daughter with special needs and was so moved by your family’s strength. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Susan

  4. Hello Neary Family,
    I think you will remember me. I am Kelly Kampf’s mom (Susan Woron) and Kelly has kept me informed of Kevin’s situation and I have been reading the news. I will most likely see you at the fund raiser on 2/4, and please let Kevin know that I am so very sorry. There are horrible people in the world but there are also wonderful supportive ones too. Kevin has the supportive cheering squad in his life and on his side. I hope he continues to heal. Love to all of the Neary family. You guys are the best. All of you are in my thoughts and prayers.
    Susan Woron

  5. Of course we remember you! Thank you so much for reaching out to us! Looking forward to seeing you in February!


  6. dianelancaster said:

    We are so sorry for your situation but there are some options out there to get off the vent etc. Also, we have a quad joy which is a joy stick that can be operated by ones lip and acts like a computer mouse. We would love to donate this to Kevin if it is something that he can use. You can contact me by phone at 484-571-6474 Diane

  7. John Amalfitano said:

    To the Neary Family:

    I am heartbroken that this has happened to Kevin. It happened just a few steps from a house my son renovated, lived in and sold just a few months before this tragedy happened to Kevin. This could just as easily have happened to my son, who is one year younger than Kevin.

    I hope to follow Kevin’s progress. I believe that science will make strides to help Kevin at some point in his life. I have made a small donation to help, and hope to make more over time.

    I hope life grants you the peace and courage to deal with this, and that you will be helped by medical and technological strides.

    John Amalfitano

  8. I saw your family on the news during the fundraiser and I am impressed with your strength and solidarity. Although Kevin’s life will be different when he comes home, he is assured that the most important thing is enduring…your love and support. God bless all of you.

  9. Pat Wallace said:

    I don’t know Kevin or the Neary family. I actually just found out about this story through my sister. I can’t imagine what you all are going through. Please know that people all over the Delaware Valley and beyond are keeping you in their prayers. Kevin’s sounds like a great guy and obviously he has a wonderful support system. Stay strong…miracles happen everyday. I hope to meet you all at the Boothwyn fundraiser. Until then, I will continue to keep Kevin in my prayers

  10. oh my lord i don’t kevin but my friend mary margaret linked this to me and i send my deepest thoughts and prayers out to kevin and his family and friends.

  11. Kevin – We’ve never met but I’ve followed your courageous battle. Hang in there, and I hope you take some comfort knowing how much even strangers care about you. We hope you have an excellent 30th birthday! Take good care – Athena, Brian, and Barron (age 3 🙂

  12. I posted here when I first read the news of Kevin being in a hospital fighting for his life. I just saw Kevin on the news. I stop by to say God is using him in a special way. Kevin’s choice to show forgiveness is a light in a dark world. I have never met but do admire him. His focus on helping others is such an example and inspires me! God bless you Kevin.

  13. Hello:
    I read Kevin’s story in the latest issue of the Penn Gazette. FYI I also had a spinal cord injury (C3/4 level) and use a vent machine part time. Lack of sleep is a common complaint among SCI survivors. I use an alternating pressure air mattress which allows me to get through the entire night without having to get turned every two hours. I also find that melatonin tablets are a good sleep aid (& all natural). Anyway, try and see if your medical insurance will cover the air mattress. Hope this helps.
    Best wishes to Kevin & family,

  14. Valerie (Warmhold) Darcey said:

    Hi, I recently learned of Kevin’s story. I used to work with Kev at the WEDP at Penn many years ago (Kev, its Val!! I still have the pic of us and Shin Bey coming out of 3535 Market pre/post some department party :)) I was so sad to learn what happened. But if I remember you Kev, you never stopped smiling (even when the Sixers and/or AI were having a bad run). Your smile was/is contagious. Please keep up your spirits – you have so many friends all over! Email to say hi if you have a chance 🙂 BIG HUGS old friend!!!

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