Michael Konopasek, News 9
OKLAHOMA CITY -- It's been about six months since Oklahoma City Police Officer Chad Peery was brutally attacked leaving him paralyzed. He's now going down a long road to recovery through rehabilitation. Saturday, he was honored by the Oklahoma City Redhawks and INTEGRIS during an evening baseball game.
There were not many dry eyes in the house at the ballpark in Bricktown. Peery was the guest of honor for the Home Run For Life event, which symbolizes the end of a battle against adversity.
Peery was attacked by three men in February of 2011 after he was asked to escort them from a local bar by bar employees. The Saturday night event, however, did not focus on what caused the injuries, rather Peery's future.
Fans filed through the gates, ready to see the OKC Redhawks take on the Iowa Cubs. Like many games of "America's pastime" there was plenty of food, drinks, and sideline shows, but this game provided something a bit different.
"It makes for a lot of nudges and people pointing saying, ‘look at this story,'" Michael Byrnes, Redhawks president and general manager said. "It makes for something that's really special here at the ballpark."
After the third inning, the announcer called Chad Peery to the field with his children by his side. Not one play in the entire game saw nearly as much attention from the fans as that moment did.
"It's emotional every time," Peery said. "That many people, that much support, you can't hardly put it into words. It's awesome."
Peery tackled the bases with the same courage he is using to tackle his rehabilitation.
"For him to show this amazing improvement in a short period of time, [it's] miraculous, beyond expectation, more than we expected, and beyond belief," Dr. Al Moorad, Jim Thorpe Hospital medical director said.
Peery reflected on the odds of his recovery.
"They didn't give me much hope as far as being able to do anything. And we've come a very long ways," Peery said.
When Peery entered rehabilitation at Jim Thorpe INTEGRIS Hospital, he had the goal of one day being able to hug his children. He has reached that goal.
"Being able to [round the bases] with the kids and getting them out here, they loved it," Peery said with a smile on his face. " … It was absolutely amazing. I was thrilled that they got to share that with us."
Saturday marked the fifth Home Run For Life event. The ballpark hosts one each month.