January 4th, 2012 by Conor
I still remember exactly where I was on one year ago when I had learned about Danny’s Accident. I was in a hotel in Africa preparing to get on a boat that following morning for six and half weeks. In a job where isolation and downtime can cause your mind to run a million miles per hour, my mind rarely left the thought of Danny’s status. Getting off the boat six and half weeks later and immediately flying back North Conway to see him alive and walking around was a relief that I have never experienced before.
Jump ahead to the 4th of July I traveled up to Tahoe to hang out with him and Conor. From my first time seeing him in February he had just gotten out of the hospital, he was taking all kinds of pills, he had very little energy and was skinnier than me. To five months later we were hanging out in Tahoe playing volleyball, bocce ball, and meeting him near the top of Squaw after him and Michelle decided to hike their way up. It was after that trip I knew Danny was going to be okay.
Traveling back to New Hampshire for Christmas like I do every year I got to spend some more time hanging out with Danny, who also flew back to NH for Christmas. His hair is back to where it was a year ago and he finally weighs more than me now. I could also see how excited and happy he was to be able to get back on the snow January 3rd. I think Conor was just as stoked about his progress…who himself deserves a some sort of medal for all the support he has given to his brother. I can’t imagine how hard it has been for Danny, he has worked hard to get back, physically and mentally. To stay as determined as he has through all of the physically therapy while still not knowing for certain if it would pay off in the end is a tough pill to swallow, and not many people have that motivation. He told me about the miles he has racked up hiking in this year alone, and I can guarantee I haven’t hiked that many miles in my entire life. We went on a run the other day in the cold, which can be tough on anyone’s lungs. It was during this run he told me he is trying to ween himself off his asthma medications. I thought to myself, one year ago he was fighting for his life and we weren’t sure if he would walk or talk again and now we are on a run and he his trying to rid himself of his asthma meds. Pretty amazing.
In my write up last year for this site I mentioned I could not wait for this Christmas Eve when I get another voicemail from Danny with him and his family singing Silent Night. I knew I was going to hear it again. So per my request I had him leave another message on my phone this year. This rendition has never sounded better. Listen for yourself.