Matt and Danielle Davis met in their early twenties and quickly fell in love with each other. They married in late 2010 in Forsyth, Georgia, and began planning their life and future together. A tragic turn of events soon changed their plans, though. This is their story of trauma, recovery, and rebuilding, and it starts with the beautiful couple falling in love on the next slide.
Love At First Sight
Danielle and Matt met in May 2010 and began dating in September. They married in December 2010 and spent over half a year together living their normal lives as newlyweds.
They Were Happy Newlyweds
They were that sure of their love and commitment, so it’s no surprise how Danielle handled the traumatic situation that was yet to come.
A Nearly Fatal Accident
In July 2011, Matt crashed into an illegally parked car on the interstate while riding his motorcycle. He was taken to a hospital and put on life support.
One In Ten Odds
A team of doctors told Danielle that they’d given Matt a 10 percent chance of recovery. They told her that they recommended taking him off life support.
A Very Small Chance
He’d broken several bones and suffered a traumatic brain injury. Even when people are able to beat these odds, they’re usually left entirely dependent on caregivers.
Testing The Odds
Danielle listened to the doctor’s suggestions, but ultimately chose to test those odds. Matt was discharged and went to stay at home under constant supervision.
Care Around The Clock
Matt was given a feeding tube and wasn’t able to visit the restroom or shower by himself. Danielle and her mother were also tasked with giving over 20 medications to Matt each day. Then everything changed…
Opening His Eyes A Month Later
A month after leaving the hospital, Matt opened his eyes. He began moving his lips, too, and seemed to be processing the environment around him.
Speaking For The First Time Again
One day during his routine physical therapy, Matt started making whispering sounds. When he was finally able to speak, he told Danielle, “I’m trying!”
Regaining Speech And Strength
As he began working on developing his speech and strength, it became clear that Matt had lost many memories and wasn’t so sure of his surroundings.
By His Side Through Everything
Danielle helped her husband make it through his doctor’s appointments and physical therapy. She even took part in plenty of the exercise right next to him.
Physical, Speech, And Occupational Therapists
“We fought to get him back in rehab,” said Danielle. “There he worked with physical, speech and occupational therapists learning the basics.” After three months, Matt had made major improvements.
Learning To Walk Again
Within time, Matt could hold conversations and share jokes, enjoy music, eat, and drink by himself. He learned to walk with help from physical therapists.
Hitting A Wall
It had been three and a half years since his accident when Matt’s insurance company began refusing to pay for ongoing treatments. Danielle quickly opened up a GoFundMe campaign.
Danielle and Matt were able to raise nearly a hundred thousand dollars to help pay for five years of physical therapy. This made a huge difference in his prognosis.
Helping Around The House
Even simple household chores were challenging at first, but Matt began getting better. “He used to do this sitting down,” Danielle wrote with this photo.
Memories Coming Back
“He remembered me today,” she wrote in a caption with this photo. She explained how Matt described a specific memory in detail. “This is the first and only memory he has of me from before the accident,” she said.
As time went on, Danielle began to use hashtags like #DitchTheChair. Matt started to regain his strength and balance through many hours of hard work.
Channeling Frustration Into Fitness
Danielle began hitting the gym to alleviate stress, too. “When life deals you the worst, you put it on a bar and throw it around,” she captioned this photo.
Walking With Crutches
Matt eventually learned to walk with crutches. “So fast it’s ridiculous!” Danielle wrote when she shared this Instagram photo. “I’m almost not even worried!”
First CrossFit Class
“Matt took his first CrossFit class today!” Danielle wrote. “Five years ago we were told he would be a vegetable for life, now he’s 15 days with no wheelchair and doing CrossFit!”
Still Knowing When To Take It Easy
“We took the wheelchair out for the first time in 7 months,” Danielle wrote, “because I wanted to. Because I’m tired. Nothing’s wrong. It’s just easier and sometimes easier is better.”
Now, Every Little Thing Counts
“Everything counts when you were never supposed to do anything again,” Danielle wrote with this photo. As the years passed by, the couple was able to do more and more together, like vacations and family outings.
Real Life, Acceptance, And Recovery
“The truth is, he’s got a brain injury and I have PTSD. There’s trauma in us,” she wrote on Instagram. “So we’re just gonna be a little screwed up and see where that gets us.”