Daniel’s transplant journey began in 2007, when a plane crashed into our home and permanently changed our lives. Daniel suffered second and third-degree burns over 95 percent of his body, I also sustained burns from the accident. Daniel’s sister Gabriella did not survive, and within just a few hours, Daniel was airlifted to Shriners Hospitals for Children in Cincinnati. Because of the injuries he sustained, Daniel was not expected to survive. Over the next seven months, Daniel underwent multiple surgeries and physical therapy at Shriners. Miraculously, he made great progress and was eventually released to go home.
I decided it would be best for us to stay in Cincinnati, so that Daniel could continue to receive optimal care at Shriners Hospital. To this day, Daniel visits Shriners for outpatient care, and the hospital continues to provide necessary treatment to him without financial obligation. When Daniel was ready to return to school, the hospital’s program for school re-entry helped him make the transition.
Because he is such a good student and has an outgoing personality, Daniel does very well in school. He helped start a school program called “Happy Tabs for Shriners Hospitals,” raising money by collecting two million aluminum can tabs to provide needed items for patients at Shriners.
Daniel’s ability to face any challenge, to find happiness in every circumstance, and to help others who need a hand, inspires us each day to live life to the fullest.
– Millie Dechat, mother of Daniel Happy, Tissue Recipient