A fundraiser has been created to help a local welding instructor who was paralyzed from the chest down after a motorized vehicle accident earlier this month.
Danny Keiderling, an instructor at the Western Welding Academy, was in an accident on July 21 in South Dakota. He was taken to Monument Health in Rapid City and underwent a 7-hour surgery the next day.
A GoFundMe has been started for Keiderling and his family, which includes fiancee, Brittany Lee Betz, and their 7-month-old daughter Emberly.
Crystal Sisneros, a friend of the family, said Keiderling, 29, faces a long road ahead of him. He’ll spend several months more in the hospital, and if that goes well, he’ll be transferred to a rehabilitation facility, where he’ll spend another six months to a year, at least.
“He knows it’s going to be a long road,” Sisneros said. “We keep telling him, ‘God’s got bigger plans for him.’”
Below is a breakdown of the medical attention that has been performed or will be needed, as well as other things that the money will go toward:
- Flight to the hospital
- 18 days in the ICU
- 8-hour Neurosurgery operation
- 75 days in the inpatient rehabilitation facility
- Continued outpatient rehabilitation
- Travel expense to various doctors appointments
- Lost wages
- Home modifications for wheelchair and paralyzation accessibility
- Specialized wheelchair
- Vehicle accessibility modifications
Keiderling is in “as good of spirits as he can be,” considering the circumstances, Sisneros said.
“He was talking welding to one of the nurses,” she said.
Keiderling, a Campbell County High School graduate, is an ambassador for welding, and he has a passion for teaching others how to weld, Sisneros said.
“We all joke around that he was born welding,” she said. “He’s got an amazing talent.”
Besides teaching at Western Welding Academy, Keiderling also built up a following on social media, promoting welding and the blue-collar industry. He’s amassed more than 110,000 followers on TikTok, and Sisneros said there has been support from people all over the country.
There is an opening for Keiderling at the Craig Hospital in Englewood, Colorado, which specializes in neuro-rehabilitation and spinal cord injury. But it requires a payment before he’s admitted, so Sisneros is hoping to raise as much money as possible by then to help pay for what isn’t covered by insurance.
To donate to the GoFundMe, visit here.
Sisneros said Keiderling has inspired thousands of people nationwide to become welders, and that he’s thankful and grateful for the outpouring of support so far.
“He’ll be an even bigger inspiration, once his story is told, of what he went through,” she said.