February 9th, 2011 by MIchelle

I woke up this morning in my own bed with Homer, Danny’s bear, by my side. It was 9:30 AM, I should have been sleeping as we had made it to Tahoe around 3:30 this morning. I pressed play on my iPod that had been sitting in Tahoe for the last month and Imagine by John Lennon played softly in the background as I peered through my curtains at the California blue sky. I couldn’t sleep. The previous days events played over and over in my head. Saying goodbye to Danny and watching his plane take off from Great Falls, MT with tears in my eyes was exceptionally hard.

Driving away from Great Falls with Conor was surreal. At one point I remember telling him that I have never experienced so many emotions at once. This is true and it’s hard to explain, but I’m sure you can imagine just as you have imagined being in room 5109 with Danny for the last month. Like Conor said in his previous post, without all of you and your unwavering support this would have been tough. Your words and comments made me smile, they made me laugh, and they made me cry as many of you have said the same about our posts. Thank you so much for being there, even if I’ve never met you. Your kindness has touched me, it has inspired me, and it has lifted me up during hard times. I will forever hold this experience close to my heart and it isn’t over yet.

With love from Tahoe,


Turn the Page

February 8th, 2011 by Conor

About a week into our time spent at the hospital a lady approached me while I was, you guessed, working on my computer. I don’t remember her name or her story but I recognized her as a regular- people on the ICU floor become familiar quickly. Our conversation wasn’t all that long or memorable about anything in particular, but one part of it stuck out. I had just gotten through an explaining our situation with Danny and that we had already been there a whole week- a week that felt a lot more like a year or two. When I asked her how long she had been there she said a month. I couldn’t even fathom how someone could possibly be mentally stable and still coming up to the ICU floor for a month! The conversation fizzled out and she headed off somewhere. I struggled to get back to work as I tried to wrap my head around two main feelings.

1) How could Danny and all of our friends and family last a month feeling the roller coaster of emotions that we had felt that week?
2) I was about to find out, because this process wasn’t going to be quick and there was no way Danny was going to give up his fight.

Sure enough, Danny made it. I made it. Our family made it. All of our friends made it. People from all over the world-many of which we have never met, they all made it too. And what a journey it was. I can hardly believe that I am about to leave Great Falls, Montana. By tomorrow evening my Mom, Dad and Danny will all be back in New Hampshire, and Michelle and I will be far away from Montana but not quite close enough to California. We will all be very very happy to be out of here.

As I sit here typing my final post from Montana I can’t believe that time passed so quickly. The minutes turned to hours, the hours to days, the days to weeks and sure enough, the weeks into a month. Looking back on my conversation with the lady I find it hard to believe that I actually made it one month.

As of today 22,294 different people were touched at some point or another by Danny’s story just on this website alone. When I first created the site I did so because of the overwhelming support that I was getting on the phone. So much in fact that I really couldn’t deal with it all. As much as I wanted to speak to each and every one of you it just wasn’t really physically possible. When I first posted about the event online my voicemail filled to capacity in an hour. Everyone that I did talk to wanted to be updated. I had to kindly tell them that I would do my best but that it was going to be nearly impossible. How could I keep everyone in the loop? One that was fair to everyone and exclusive to no one. There it was, Danny Is The Bomb. I sure am happy that I did it too because looking at the numbers It wouldn’t have been possible to continue on my phone attempt. If I had spent as much time on the phone as people have spent on this website I would literally have to have been on my phone for 211 days around the clock. It blows my mind how many people came to this website. It truly does.

This website has been wonderfully therapeutic to me throughout the whole process. Although I rarely, if ever, responded to comments people posted or the submissions to the website, I can assure people that I read every single word that is on this site. Every word on here helped me get through this process and without you all this nightmare would have been way worse. So, Thank You, to each and every single one of you that stepped up and contributed to making this site work.

Don’t worry, the site is being shut down, or discontinued but for me, a large chapter in this book will close when I hit the road tomorrow. I won’t see Danny and my Mom or Dad for a few weeks and it sure is going to be hard to write about Danny the way that we have been simply based on phone calls. That’s not to say I wont chime in with some thoughts here or there, but my involvement in the day to day knowings of Danny is going to change significantly tomorrow.

I will be there for Danny in a few short weeks and in the meantime my parents will be by his side. I certainly encourage everyone around North Conway, New Hampshire, to visit Danny whenever he is up for the company. It is your turn to finally get to spend some time with him. You have all been there through this whole process step by step and Danny needs you all now more than ever. If you don’t feel it’s appropriate to visit then bring him by some nice meal or some candy (he had been feening candy lately).

Thank you EVERYONE. We all worked together to support each other through this process. It was the longest month of my life but looking back it still somehow passed pretty quickly. I look forward to giving each and everyone of you an EPIC hug at some point whenever I see you in person. It sure is going to be nice to start to see you all in person again. Until then, I am off on the next journey. I have to imagine that there are some good ones coming up because after making it through this just about anything else is going to feel like a total blast.

I love you all for stepping up and making this happen. People sure can be awesome. You all just proved that. Danny just proved that.

Good night from Great Falls. Good luck on your adventure Danny. You got this.


One of Danny’s last moments at the Hospital

February 7th, 2011 by Conor

Danny is gonna be ok. Look at how well he is already doing…

Ipad Fun

February 7th, 2011 by Conor

Danny was lucky enough to score an Ipad during this adventure thanks to Jon and Claudia Goguen. He only got to really start enjoying it over the last week or so. Upon it’s arrival there wasn’t a whole lot that Danny could do with it other than to well, let us use it. So we had some fun with it one of the last nights that Auntie Julie and Tom were in town. Here is what resulted…

Thanks again to Jon and Claudia. Danny is now ear to ear with his new toy!

What now?

February 7th, 2011 by MIchelle

On Friday night the nurse walked in to let Danny know that she could remove his IV. He looked hopeful, but skeptical because we weren’t 100% sure that Saturday would be the big day. Even though the IV was annoying and at times painful, Danny still asked her if there was any chance they would need to reinsert the IV on Saturday and if so he would like to keep it in. I looked at him with a smirk thinking that it might be a joke, but he was serious. We weren’t sure that he would be out until Saturday morning and once we got the news we were packing up the room and getting things situated for departure. We were actually completely ready to go about to walk out of the hospital with Danny until the nurse let us know that she needed to get the paper work before she could let us out of there. So we sat and waited for the official word and once they let us out, Danny carried his snowboard and we marched out of the PCU.

It seemed like it all happened so quick, looking back. One minute we didn’t know how long we would be staying in the hospital, then we thought we would be moving to an inpatient facility in Great Falls, next thing you know they say Danny can go home for further therapy, and all of the sudden we’re walking out of the hospital for the last time. I can’t even begin to explain how many emotions overwhelmed me that day. It felt like a dream again, just as it had when Conor called me on January third to tell me the news. What a wild adventure we have all been on.

David, Ellen, Conor, and Danny are all at the Doctors office right now for the last visit. Doctor Gorsuch is removing the last few staples in Danny’s head and maybe he will get his results back from a test he took yesterday. Gorsuch tested Danny with some sort of computerized quiz yesterday. It took thirty minutes and had to do with memory, answer speed, simple math, and other mind trick questions. One example of a question would be for Danny to pick the color shown on the screen, but the word BLUE is typed in green. The Doctor had never tested one of his patients with this particular test so he did the test on himself one day prior to Danny taking it. Danny has high hopes that he scored higher than his neurosurgeon.

Now I’m sitting here in room 303. It is still a room with a number on the door, but there are no loud beeps or blinking lights. There is no wall dispensing hand sanitizer near the entrance and the only curtains to be drawn are for the windows. I am much more relaxed here. Even though we have been doing the same thing here as we were in the PCU, it feels better. Danny will be heading home soon and Conor and I will be driving back to Tahoe. We’ll go our separate ways and I’ll try to pick up life where I left off. It won’t be easy, it will be strange.

On January third, before I got the call, I was looking forward to Danny coming home in a few days time. I was going to compete at Northstar in a slopestyle contest and coach at a camp at Squaw. The Shreddy Times crew and I were going to hike out to a couple of backcountry huts in the Sierras for some overnight adventures and shred some untouched Tahoe powder. I couldn’t wait. What now? We’ll say our temporary good byes to Danny, Ellen, and David and Conor and I will pack up for a 16 hour drive home. We’ll look into our rear view mirror as we drive away from Great Falls and wave goodbye to Montana for now. I’ll miss Danny like crazy and look forward to seeing my family and friends in Tahoe. I need some time to decompress and relax a little bit, but that thought is still on my mind…what now? Life is different. Life has changed. I guess I’ll find out soon enough.

In the meantime I will smile at the thought of Danny returning home. I will smile that he will be surrounded by more love and support. I will smile that he will finally get to eat at Glen Junction! Take care of him NH…I know you will.


Danny is OUT!

February 5th, 2011 by Conor

A couple of hours ago Danny was discharged from the hospital. It was a little bit slow going but that’s about all that could really be expected given that he was there for a total of 33 days. Danny won’t be able to leave Great Falls for a couple days while they make sure that everything is going as planned. He should be flying out on Monday or Tuesday if all goes well.

We are currently sitting at a hotel room a few miles from the hospital. By the time Michelle and I got to the hospital he had already realized that he was doing the same thing at a different place. Sitting, watching TV and chilling. Danny is ready to go HOME!

Let me out of here!

February 4th, 2011 by MIchelle

Today marks a month and one day since Danny was injured. We woke up this morning to an antibiotic IV session that lasted 45 minutes. The antibiotics are the only thing running through the IV anymore. He get’s to unplug when the antibiotics run out. I was anticipating blood work, but labs are finished now too. The nurse will be taking out the stitches in Danny’s stomach when he starts to wake up more and the pain pill takes effect. The staples run across his lower right abdomen and mark where the bone flap was once stored beneath his skin. The doctor will take out the remaining stitches in Danny’s head and then all that will be left is the PEG feeding tube and the stitches from the last procedure. All in all Danny will have two huge question mark shaped scars, one on either side of his head, a few hole marks where drains left his skull, a scar on the base of his neck where the tracheostomy once was, a scar the length of my hand on his stomach (I have small hands), and his arms are officially a pin cushion.

The speech therapist just came in and gave Danny apple juice! This is the first liquid that Danny has been given permission to drink. He’s been sneaking drinks of water and hasn’t had any trouble, but now that he’s cleared by the speech therapist he can drink whatever he wants. Before this he was only allowed to drink what they call nectar thick liquid and it’s pretty much the same consistency as a smoothie.

Up next is the formal memory test. This is the kind of stuff that Danny doesn’t really like, but it gives the therapist some black and white answers. The therapist had Danny repeat random numbers and words after her. She did a few more exercises and in the end said that Danny was doing great.

Danny is ready to leave. He’s passing all of the tests and feels like he’s ready to get out of here. This place is a structured environment and the therapist said that you won’t really know your deficits until you leave this place, but as far as I can tell Danny is going to do just fine. We’re just waiting for the go ahead and then we out of here!


DITB Shout outs.

February 3rd, 2011 by Conor

Send em: 603-496-6621 or

Danny’s Second Post!

February 3rd, 2011 by dctrauma

(dictated by Danny to Michelle and Conor)

Not much has happened today. They did, however, pull a five inch tube out of my head that was there to drain my spinal fluid. The more I lay here in bed the more I want Glen Junction for three meals a day.

Although it was a mellow day, I walked around the hospital twice without falling. I even went on my first adventure by myself. I am still yet to have stepped outside in the last four and a half weeks. I can’t wait for fresh air Conor farts and claims that he’s trying to be the catalyst to get him outside, but Danny is waiting for his ice cream.

I was really pulling for Pandora but it looks like I’m headed to NH. It will be awesome to see all my good friends and family. Hopefully all my friends are prepared to make me some nice home cooked meals.

I’m now going to answer some questions:

Question Number 1

Annie: Here is my question – what is the first thing you are going to do when you are out of the hospital

a) makeout with Michelle

b) crack a brew

c) take a shower

d) all of the above

Answer: I’ve already made out with Michelle c) Take a shower.

Questions Number 2

Anonymous: Can danny speak now?

Answer: Seeing as though I dictated last night’s post to Conor, the answer is yes and today I am still able to speak.

Questions Number 3

Alex Ware: Would you feel better about bathing if it was in the hands of a 25 year old babe?

Answer: Yes, I would feel much better about that compared to a 50 year old woman who is dying to bathe me. For real it was creepy.

This hospital food isn’t cuttin’ it. Neither is being tube fed through my stomach. My dinner just arrived and I am going to go mow now.

Catch ya on the flip side

DCTrauma… Out


February 3rd, 2011 by MIchelle

The drain has been removed! Danny doesn’t have a silly hat on anymore and the tube is gone. It was a simple cut of a stitch and a little pull of the tube. There was a sting, but Danny already feels much better without the head bandages on. He just said that on a scale from 1-10 his head is at a 3 right now. His pain meds come at 6 AM, noon, 5 PM, and 9 PM. He is off the pain button and has an emergency backup pill that he can take in between times.

OT just got here and Danny and him made paper airplanes. Danny’s flew straight and Ron’s, the OT, ran into the wall. He’s testing Danny, but Danny is above average as far as TBI patients are concerned and we don’t think that they realize that. Here is and example of a couple of questions and answers:

What happens if you get a flat tire while driving down the road?

Answer: Pull over and call AAA.

Let’s say you burn your hand with hot water what would you do?

Answer: Pour cold water on it, or google the answer…call my mom.

Danny just passed with flying colors! They are going to pull back on OT for the rest of his stay. This is great news because it’s his least favorite therapy. It doesn’t mean that it’s over with, but no more once a day.


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