Chad Edward Keown, 17 of Sharpsville, died Thursday, April 12, 2018 at Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis. He was born on September 25, 2000 in Tipton to James E. & Lisa A. (Badders) Keown. Chad was a sophomore at Tri-Central High School.
Chad was a 17-year old boy from Sharpsville with an amazing story of courage, strength and selflessness. At only one month of age, Chad had the first of three open heart surgeries to repair a congenital heart defect. After facing many complications throughout the years, he was faced with another tremendous challenge.
In 2015, Chad suffered from a pulmonary hemorrhage which caused a lack of oxygen to his brain and the loss of two portions of his right lung. These injuries left him on life-support for an extended time. His amazing family stood by with faith and a fighting chance he would pull through when the medical field couldn't fully comprehend. By the grace of God, Chad fought his way back into our lives.
During Chad's recovery from the brain injury he was admitted to the Pediatric Rehabilitation Unit at Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health. This is where Chad and his family met Dr. Chuck Dietzen who focused on Chad's abilities. Chad was inspired and motivated to give 110% and to not settle. Chad used his amazing work ethic and fighting spirit to get through an extensive amount of inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation. He worked so hard that Dr. Chuck eventually challenged him to face him in the wrestling ring. He was given the stage name "Bad Chad" aka "3 Count Keown". Chad won his match against "Dr. Doom" and has held the title of the Timmy Takedown Championship for the past two consecutive years. He ultimately completed over 100 therapy sessions while attending school. Chad loved going to school.
In 2016, the Indiana Children's Wish Fund contacted Chad and his family to grant him one wish. Instead of a trip or choosing something for himself, he wanted to leave something behind that might help others. He wanted to "leave a legacy". He created Chad's Café for the learning disability program at his school. This is a mobile coffee cart located at Tri-Central High School. The students enrolled in the learning disability program run the cart to learn important job, professional and life skills that cannot be taught in a classroom. The money collected is used to purchase supplies or to donate back to community projects like the local food bank. Chad chose for the logo to be red, white and blue to support the military. Both of his grandfathers were veterans so this was very important to him.
Not only was this amazing young man the founder and operator of Chad's Café, he still is the 2018 Riley Hospital Champion. He served as the Ambassador to Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health. He earned those titles through his miraculous display of courage, strength and selflessness while facing his biggest challenges. Chad participated in many fundraising events to help others in need.
Chad's story doesn't end here. Through the Indiana Donor Network, Chad's family was able to make the courageous decision to donate his organs to save more lives. For this he is now the recipient of the Donor Medal of Honor. Chad did many wonderful things during his few short years on earth. His hope was that if you throw a pebble in the pond to create your ripple effect, eventually you will see waves.
Survivors besides his parents include his grandfather, Larry Badders and his wife Beverly of Muncie; brothers and sisters, Amanda Fenton, Bradley Keown, Ashley Keown, Cheyanne Keown and Cierra Keown; many aunts, uncles and cousins. He was preceded in death by his grandparents, Shirley Badders Duvall, Emmett & Carol Keown.
Chad's funeral will be at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, April 17 at Tri-Central with Pastor Kevin Carr presiding. Burial will be in Union Cemetery, Eaton, Indiana at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday. Visitation will be from 2:00 - 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday at the school. Young-Nichols Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.
Chad's family is planning to carry on his legacy by opening more Chad's Cafes in other schools Memorial contributions may be made to Chad's Café "3 Count Keown" c/o Lisa Keown, 116 Michael Lane, Sharpsville, Indiana, 46068.
Published on April 15, 2018