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Daniel’s Story

Thank you for visiting Daniel's CaringBridge website.  Daniel was a passenger in car accident on April 2, 2011 when he was 19. and suffered a C-4 spinal injury.  He was a cadet at Marion Military Academy in Marion, AL.On  April 19, 2011 he was transported to Shepherd Center in Atlanta, GA for rehabilitation after his initial surgery at UAB in Birmingham. He returned home in August of '11, after making excellent strides forward.  He is now at home, attending NOVA, walking with assistance of arm crutches, and hoping to attend college away in the Spring.  He has come so far, but he continues working in his recovery.

When Daniel was initially brought to UAB Hospital in Birmingham, AL, by airlift, he was placed in a "halo" device, however the neurosurgeon quickly decided to stablize his fractured C-4 spine with front and back fusion, hardware, screws etc.  He has an "incomplete" injury, which means that his spinal cord was not completely severed, thank you LORD!  He did, however, suffer spinal cord injury, which made him considered to be a quadriplegic. 

Now Daniel is at the Shepherd Center in Atlanta, GA.  Shepherd is known for being a place where intensive therapy and cutting-edge modalities bring people with spinal cord injuries to amazing improvements.  We have seen so many things that we were initially told may never happen because of the level of his injury, now happening! 

Please continue in enthusiastic prayer for Daniel.  We are so proud of our young man's efforts and hard work.

Latest Journal Update

Long-need updates!

Hello friends and family!
Yes, it has been such a long time since we updated the activities and news within Daniel's life, and I wanted to share some of the activities that he has been involved in over the past year or two.  Reading other's blogs and Caring Bridge journals often provided truly helpful and inspiring information for us to pursue, and I wanted to share in return, in case others are interested in activities that someone with a spinal cord injury might find helpful.  

I had read about another young man with a spinal cord injury who had gone adaptive skiing, so we investigated groups in our area, and contacted the Two Top Mountain Adaptive Sports Foundation, out of Whitetail Resort.  Daniel enjoyed a number of sessions with them, and I hope that he will continue with the again this winter.  Michael and I vow to learn to ski, so that we might enjoy Whitetail this winter as well!

Daniel is currently participating in a weekly adaptive equestrian program with Loudoun Therapeutic Riding out in lovely Loudoun County.  I was able to observe and take some photos of the session, and I thought he did amazingly well!  I'll post a photo.  We just signed up for another session, and hope to continue indefinitely, it is such good therapy. I'm jealous, for I love horses, and loved riding when I was younger. Perhaps I'll pick it up again someday, and Daniel and I can ride side-by-side!  What a lovely daydream!

I had read about another local young man, Nick Balenger, who had been accepted into a new program at George Mason University as a subject in their new Ph.D. in Physical Therapy program; and felt compelled to contact the professor in charge of that program to see if Daniel might be able to participate as a subject as well.  And wouldn't you know, the Lord answered those prayers, and Daniel has been involved in therapy twice a week for quite a long time now!  What an incredible blessing and answered prayer! Certainly I wouldn't have known about that program had I not learned about it from another SCI patient, so again, it is good to share.  One never knows who is reading your blog, looking for hope and inspiration!

Daniel is attending Northern VA Community College, with the intention to transfer to GMU to pursue a degree in Healthcare Administration, or a related field.  Certainly, very different from his original career ideas before this injury, but I believe that God will use him in that career field.  Perhaps he could work for Shepherd Center or some other facility which specialized in SCI injury.  We will have to wait and see, won't we?  

I often think back on how much the Lord has done in our lives, and recall His faithfulness, and the myriad of answered prayers.  He is not done, and we continue to be --
In Constant Hope,



Audrey Bigelow
By Audrey Bigelow
Such an inspiration, Heidi! Such a privilege to pray for Daniel together in Moms in Prayer!
Tonia Parker
By Tonia
So wonderful to read how the Lord is continuing to answer our prayers for Daniel. Thank you for sharing! Praying that he continues to experience progress and joy in life.
Marcy Gravatt
By Marcy Gravatt
Beautiful, Heidi! I'll pray for his continued successes!