Danielle Brennan: Figuring Out Her Life After Physical Trauma
On 10/20/2016 at 11:08am, my life was forever altered when a distracted driver ran a stop sign and hit me while I was riding my motorcycle. My leg was hanging on by an inch of skin only and I severed 2 of my femoral arteries. As bad as the injury was I was in shock, making phone calls to family- and talking with strangers that had stopped to help, and holding my leg in my hands, while going in and out of consciousness.
A month in the hospital, skin graphs, blood transfusions, and also 11 surgeries to try to save the leg. Besides back injury, head, jaw, and a lacerated liver–I also had a developed a bone infection from the trauma, and the engine oils- as there were pieces of my leg still in the engine. In July of 2017 I lost my battle with the bone infection and my leg had to be amputated. After almost 2 years and a total of 21 surgeries, 2 blood transfusions, being diagnosed with PTSD and depression, and undergoing many further bone revisions, I have finally been cleared of infection.
I have put on my first prosthetic, which of course is Wonder Woman themed!!! I know the journey ahead is still long and uncertain, but through all this I have tried to smile through the pain. Without the daily support of my family, I am not sure how I would have made it through this struggle. I still don’t know the impact this all has had on them, and how it has changed their lives. They were the strength that helped me fight through the hard days-and they continue to be. Being a mom in the strangest of ways helped me to try to put my struggles aside, to try to protect them from seeing me in more pain then they needed to. I truly hope through this journey, that I am someone, now and in the future, that makes them proud! When I was young and into current day, as a child and onto my children, I always embraced being different!
I am now at 43, having to try to figure out who the new me is or is going to be. The old me use to play soccer, take dance classes, run, go horse back ridding, etc.. as of today I hope that one day I may be able to do some of those things again, if not all. Only time will tell. Right now I am trying to look in the mirror and accept all the scars and deformities–– I am perfectly imperfect!
As much of a struggle as it was through the years, I now see how being different is in the eyes of others. The looks, the distance that strangers take when they see me now- I try to use that as fuel to become stronger. I will never be “normal “ and I am learning day by day to be ok with that!!! There are days that truly suck, there are many times I wake up forgetting I am missing a leg- so it hits hard all over again. Things could always be worse- as I am truly thankful to be here still and able to type this email. Everyone is different in their own way, one day I hope to help others that are struggling to see that- and to understand that it’s ok to be!! How boring would the world be if we were all the same, if there was only 1 color in the sky- it’s all those differences that make things truly Beautiful!!
When I found your clothing line I just couldn’t resist- it felt like it was made with me and any others like me in mind.
Thank you for allowing everyone to share their stories and thank you for empowering others to accept themselves as they are- perfect is boring!!!