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Danielle’s Story

Welcome to Danielle's website. Danielle and our family appreciate your visit! Please send us a message, we read every one, and count them among our many blessings!

Life can change in an instant...

July 11th, 2010 was a perfect day, Danielle, her sisters; Taylor & Rachel and I (mom, Lynell) cantered the 8:30 mass at Blessed Sacrament. Jeff (Danielle's Dad) was in the choir loft with us, and Danielle went to the front of the church, I remember my pride as she gracefully approached the alter, and my worry, there had been a mistake in the assigning of the responsorial psalm and Alleluia we had been practicing, and we came into church a half an hour early to learn a new one at the last minute. I remember praying Danielle would do well. The music started, Danielle took a confident breath and sang beautifully, there was a bobble in the organ music, but she continued without error. I wanted to cheer and clap, but refrained, but anyone who turned around would have been blinded by my smile. Next I sang the Alleluia, and the girls and I all silently high-fived one another and hugged, we had gotten through the most difficult parts. We were using our God given talents to worship Him in His house, for His followers, it felt good! We got home and started to prepare a meal, Fr. Hoelfer and Jeff's sister, her husband, and children would be joining us for chicken on the grill. Everyone arrived and we enjoyed a wonderful meal, at the end of the meal Danielle, cousin Riley, and sisters - Taylor and Rachel gathered around the piano and sang a song for Fr. Hoefler that they had written themselves, "What do you see?". Each girl had written a verse telling us what they see when asked, where is your home? It was wonderful. Again tearful pride and smiles burst from me. These girls are truly exceptional. We as parents are doing a good job, talented, well educated, well rounded young women, life is good. Soon after this it was time to go to Jeff's cousins to celebrate his (cousins) birthday at the lake house. There was swimming, and food, and laughter, a beautiful, perfect day... the lake had calmed down and although previous to getting there we had told the girls, "no jet skis, don't even ask, the lake will be too busy" the question was asked, by someone else. The lake was calm, very little traffic, but we were visiting, and had said, no. Danielle's then 18 year old cousin said he would take Riley and Danielle for a ride. Danielle was up on the deck with Jeff's sister and I, reading a book, typical Danielle. (I am smiling as I remember). "Mom, do you think I should go on the jet ski?" "well, your cousins will be leaving soon to go back to Australia, go make some memories", I responded. And so she put her favorite bookmark in her book, and skipped down the back hill to put on her life jacket, and I watched her ride away on the back of the jet ski. 10 minutes later, a second jet ski left the dock with Danielle's uncle, cousin and sister Taylor on board. As that 2nd jet ski left, we had no idea the fun, memory making leisurely ride dynamic would change to one of, 2 jet skis and a near deadly collision. Danielle's bookmark is still marking the last page she read. Do we blame ourselves, should we have explained the perimeters we expected to be followed? What could we have done to avoid the outcome? Many, many decisions and actions could have changed the outcome of July 11th, from one extreme to the other, there could not have been an accident at all, or, the accident could have been fatal. Danielle's Uncle and 18 year old cousin acted as hero's in the moments that followed, assessing the situation, realizing Danielle's needs were critical, giving her mouth to mouth, CPR and getting her to the dock as quickly as possible to receive immediate medical attention. The moments that followed Danielle's lifeless body being hoisted onto the dock will forever be engrained in my memory. I still have not asked details of what actually happened at the accident site from my family members, I don't want to ask them to re-live it, and it will not change the outcome. None of our lives will ever, ever be the same. I offer these facts not for judgment, but in the hope that you may encompass our entire family, all involved, in your prayers. We have not placed blame, but have offered forgiveness, in case the people we love blame themselves... Danielle sustained a Traumatic Brain Injury, her recovery is slow, and challenging, we have faith in God's plan for us all, and we ask that if it is His Will, Danielle be Miraculously and completely Healed in the name of Jesus and for the Glory of God.

Please be part of a Miracle, Pray for Danielle. ~Lynell.

Latest Journal Update

Superheroes and a Doctor visit.

The "I did it for Danielle" Superhero 5k was another fantastic event, filled with superheroes, a birthday celebration, music by DJ Brad Schroeder, photography by Dean Williams, food by Nelson's catering and 350+ prayer warriors for Danielle! Our loyal and fantastic sponsors defrayed the cost of the t-shirts, location costs, janitorial fees, signs and 5k event costs, allowing just over $12,000 to be deposited directly into the Danielle Loftus fund!!! It was so heartwarming to see and witness everyone's support. For us, fundraisers have been about gathering people together for Danielle and sharing a community of faith. People who know our family, know that we are very frugal, and we are even more so with funds in the Danielle Loftus Fund account. We have put away a nest-egg for Danielle's long term care in a trust, allowing the funds that have been raised through fundraising to be allocated toward Danielle's more immediate needs. Examples include her handicap vehicle ($30K), The NJ doctor protocol ($150K), and physical therapy equipment, (the Quadriciser, $13K). Monies have recently gone toward beneficial supplements (Reliv, Inflavonoid for inflammation, Bone Builder to increase calcium and hopefully decrease osteoporosis), replacement baffles for Danielle's hospital air bed (there are 3, and after several "patch jobs" we have had to replace them), replacement footrests to accommodate Danielle's height, she has grown quite a bit in the past 5 years and a new headrest for Danielle's wheelchair to name a few. While we absolutely believe in miracles, we are also very aware that Danielle could outlast both Jeff and I, and if she requires 24 hour care in a skilled nursing facility, for 20-40 years...  we will remain frugal, as every penny counts. Thank you all for your encouragement and continued prayers, each positive word, each prayer is such a precious gift to our family, and God IS listening.

This last Tuesday, I drove Danielle to St. Louis for her 6 month appointment with Dr. Brody, who is a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Specialist at Wash-U. Rachel came with me to the appointment to help care for Danielle while I navigated the 1.5 hour drive. Dr. Brody was once again exceptional in his attentiveness to Danielle, addressing her directly, examining her and listening and answering my questions, and Rachel's. We are going to try a new medication, the previous trial of a different medication had no effect, so Dr. Brody is continuing through his list of medications that have benefitted other patients. This new medication has some slight side effects that we will need to watch for, gastrointestinal issues and hallucinations. Please pray with us that Danielle has no negative side effects and this medication benefits her. This medication, Namenda, will hopefully block over active electrical receptors, the theory being that with some of the receptors being blocked, the few that continue will allow Danielle some focused moments. Rachel asked Dr. Brody, "even though we cannot physically SEE changes happening could Danielle be healing on the inside?" He responded saying sometimes he has seen a huge leap in a patients recovery, it can happen... But it can also be likely that you may not see any changes in Danielle's lifetime. He gave her hope and an honest answer, and Rachel... and I were satisfied. He admitted that he did not know, and time would tell, but to continue to treat Danielle as we do, speaking directly to her, and including her because she may be fully aware of everything going on around her, but unable to respond as we do... which is exactly what we believe to be true. We also discussed possible threats to Danielle's life, which include pneumonia and bed sores and the need to make sure anyone who is in contact with Danielle washes or sanitizes their hands frequently. So we will continue as we have been, taking care of Danielle the best we can, and asking you all to cover her in your precious prayers.

Could we do what we need to do for Danielle without asking for and receiving help and prayers? Yes, we probably can, but we have been Blessed by a community of compassionate friends, family and sometimes strangers. It is said that in some point in everyone's life they will go through a difficult time, my prayer is that if difficult times befall you, you will be surrounded by the same kindness that we have received, and you will never feel alone. May God Bless each of you.


23 people hearted this



sandy cavanagh
By Sandy Cavanagh
The run was fun. you are all always in my prayers.
Jeanne Eide
Hopefully you know that we will continue to support your efforts to continue with Danielle's care, both physhically and mentally. You are always in our thoughts and prayers. We pray that you will have the faith, love and ability to continue to care for Danielle and her needs, plus have time for you and Jeff and Taylor and Rachel. God always be at your side. Love the Eides.
1 person hearted this
Jane Pichler
By Jane Pichler
Lynell ~
The sacrificial, tender care you and your family give to Danielle every single day ( moment) is nothing short of amazing!!! I think everyone knows you are always looking out for Danielle's "best interest" in all that you do! I will continue to pray..... and hope that this medication brings only positive results for her!!! God is the Supreme Physician, who cares deeply and lovingly for Danielle and each of us! May God bless each of you this day and always ~
1 person hearted this
Mary Cumming
By Mary Cumming
So glad the 5K had wonderful weather, supportive fans, and was a success. Thinking of you all often
1 person hearted this
Angelene Biderbost
By Sr. Angelene Biderbost
Thanks, Lynell, for your detailed update on Danielle. Glad the Superhero 5k was a fantastic success, and know that all of you are in my prayers.
1 person hearted this
Tim Sutton
By Tim Sutton
It's been a while since I have checked in here but know that you all have been on my mind lately, more than usual. I take this as a reminder to me to keep you all in my prayers and trust in His ways.
1 person hearted this
Mary Schiller
By M.J. Schiller
You all have done an amazing job caring for Danielle and keeping the hope alive. My husband and I are still praying for Dani every morning on our way to work. May God continue to give you strength, and wisdom, and hope!
1 person hearted this
Jacquie Bryan
By Jacquie Bryan
I pray for Danielle and each of you Lynell everyday..what a testimony of faith and hope in our God. You are a strong family and I pray God's will for all of you. Love and prayers..
1 person hearted this
Gail Doyle
By Gail Doyle
Continued prayers for Danielle and positive thoughts Soglad 5K was such a success God bless
1 person hearted this