Greg Keener | Sophomore

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Saturday morning was Greg Keener's third surgery since being stabbed in the liver Wednesday while in a hallway at Franklin Regional High School.

He's 15. A sophomore. A junior-varsity tennis player, a dek hockey player, a baseball player, a weightlifter.

He's still on a ventilator. Still sedated. But the incision is closed and his prognosis is good.

Greg Keener

"The liver is regenerating itself already," his father, Rick Keener, said. "We're real pleased, real happy with his progress."

He turns 16 in a few weeks. He is the youngest in his family. Before the attack, he was just learning to back a car out of the family's Murrysville garage.

The younger of his two sisters, Rachel, was the most upset when he added a dent to the car she drives.

"Yeah, he's already had his first accident," Rick Keener said.

Rachel is a senior at Franklin Regional. She had just dropped him off when he was stabbed, leaving a gash of about 2 inches. Friends dragged him into a gym teacher's classroom, where they applied pressure until paramedics arrived.

"He wasn't in the right place at the right time, but everything else was in the right place at the right time," Rick Keener said.

Greg's family -- father, mother Julie, Rachel and two older half-siblings, Bethany and Jason -- didn't know what happened to him until Mary Warwick called from Forbes Hospital in Monroeville. He wasn't answering texts.

"She didn't realize that we didn't know," Rick Keener said.

He was already in surgery.

Her son, Connor, is a lifelong friend. They played on the same teams, hung out together.

And they wound up two rooms apart in the intensive-care unit.

"Every event, they have to be involved together," Greg's father said.

Rick Keener has a deadpan way with humor. Greg seems to have inherited it.

Once, Rachel took the larger of two cookies off a plate and Greg immediately accused her of taking the biggest cookie. She took a bite and said, "No, I didn't."

"Well now it isn't," Greg said, straightfaced.

Until recently, before a stock-trading course and his mother's accounting background led him more toward economics and finance, Greg thought he might like to be a major-league baseball player.

"About as likely as getting stabbed in your own high school, right?" Rick Keener said.

Which isn't to say he's abandoned sports entirely. Two of the Pittsburgh Penguins, Beau Bennett and Robert Bortuzzo, came by the hospital on Friday.

"I know he's going to be really unhappy that he wasn't conscious when the Penguins were here the other day," his father said.

Greg lost a lot of blood. Rick Keener said he's not quite sure whether Greg will be the same person when he wakes up. He hasn't been able to talk to his son yet.

But he has faith. The family's church, First United Methodist, has been praying for Greg and Rick and Julie and Rachel and Bethany and Jason.

"We've been getting prayers from all over the world," Rick Keener said. "There's a military base in Afghanistan that's praying for him. It's been incredible."


Jacob Quinn Sanders: jsanders@post-gazette.com.

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