Life can change in an instant. Dan’s story began Friday, July 13, 2012. He was headed home from work early to pick up his 7-month pregnant wife in order to be on time to her sister’s wedding rehearsal dinner. He stopped at the grocery store, not more than two miles from home, to get cat food, dog food and a few extra things for the weekend since they would be gone for a few days. On his way home, Dan was struck head on at 45 miles per hour by a driver of an SUV. Dan woke up, maybe 30 seconds later, pinned to the interior of his vehicle.
“I wiggled my legs, toes, hands, and feet, still had everything and then noticed a large gash on my left forearm past my elbow,” said Dan. “I immediately started to go into shock. Other people who stopped immediately attempted to calm me down, which worked.”
A bystander on the scene asked Dan for his wife’s phone number and called her to explain what happened. She arrived at the scene as they were pulling Dan out using the Jaws of Life. The ambulance rushed Dan to a local level one trauma hospital. Dan soon lost consciousness.
“I don’t remember anything beyond arriving at the hospital,” Dan said. “I remained in a medicated coma for 37 days.”
Dan missed his sister-in-law’s wedding, his own third anniversary and a number of other events.
“When I woke up, thankfully I was still me. I hadn’t lost any limbs or vital organs. I have scars that have healed but remain constant reminders of what I went through,” shared Dan.
During his recovery, he had to learn how to walk again, tie his shoes and regain balance and coordination. Once recovered, Dan learned he received 121 blood donations to keep him alive during his surgeries and treatment.
“Without the life-transforming work that is done at Vitalant, and the donations they receive, I would not be here,” explained Dan.