Welcome to our CaringBridge website. We are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement. Thank you for visiting.
Daniel was born in 1993 and was a real blessing. Kim was told by doctors that it she would not be able to have children, so we were truly honored that God allowed her to get pregnant and carry to full term. When Daniel turned four, he was diagnosed with a bicuspid aortic stenosis. Catching it a such a young age was very fortunate and a credit to a great pediatrician. The early diagnosis allowed us to get Daniel under the care of a cardiologist to manage and treat the condition. Daniel has been under the care of a cardiologist since that time. When he turned seven, he was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, specifically Asperger's syndrome. He was verbal at an early age and very creative and intelligent. But struggled with some social skills. Once school began it was revealed that he had both dyslexia and disgraphia, as well as other classic signs of autism.
Daniel spent his early childhood overcoming all of these set backs. He learned to read, write, speak publicly, and make friends. When Daniel was 18 he was invited to speak at the CDC in Atlanta to share how an adult with autism can transition to working and living independently. Daniel had already moved into a rental house with a childhood friend and began working at the manufacturing facility for High Road Craft Ice Cream. Daniel worked and went to college part time at Chattahoochee Tech. While in college, Daniel mentored other young men on the spectrum so they could make the transition to independent living. Over the next several years, Daniel continued working and attending trade school. He eventually decided to specialize in auto body repair. He's always loved to fix things! He earned an Assoc Degree as well as an Auto Body Repair Tech certification. He then applied to work at Ashbury Automotive and was hired in January of this year to work at their Marietta repair shop at a Nalley dealership.
On July 3rd, 2020, Daniel had a stroke. Daniel had been suffering from a low grade fever and cough for about a month. He had seen his primary care doctor, via remote visit, and she had requested he take a Covid test. While the test and chest X-ray were negative for Covid, they assumed he still had Covid and treated him for it. He did not get better, and in fact. started showing new symptoms. He was vomiting, and was unable to keep down solid food. His primary care doctor asked him to get a second Covid test, which he did, and the entire family was also tested. All test were negative, as well as Daniel second chest X-ray. Daniel insisted he was not getting better and asked the doctor what else the illness could be besides Covid. She insisted it was Covid but referred him to an ENT specialist to explore the bad cough. He made that appointment, but before he could meet with that physician he suffered a stroke.
Once in the hospital it was determined the stroke was actually caused by endocarditis. This occurs when an infection, in his case it was a strain of strep, enters the blood and is able to "take root" in cardiac tissue. Daniel's bicuspid aortic valve made him particularly vulnerable to this type of illness. As the infection grows the bacteria form clusters that can break free from the heart tissue. Once they break off, they act like a blood clot. One of these cluster is what caused Daniel's stroke. In addition to stroke care and recovery, Daniel's mitral and aortic valve have been damaged. He will need a double valve replacement to insure that he is able to maintain the structural integrity of his heart. The goal is to delay the surgery for as long as possible to allow him to recover from the stroke and regain his strength, but it will need to happen within the next 8 weeks.
Daniel has overcome many challenges in his life and we are confident he will work through this. But it will be a long road. So many people are praying for Daniel and he will have family and friends to encourage him along the way. Please, join us in praying and supporting Daniel. A GofundMe has been linked to this site in the "Ways to Help" section.