A 24-minute seizure changed the life of four-year-old Dan Willis forever.
Doctors told his mother, Jenny, the seizure had inflicted global brain damage and the toddler would experience severe developmental delay. Jenny said medical staff were adamant Dan would be forced to spend life lying on his back with little to no chance of improvement.
“The prognosis was bleak,” she said.
But 18 years later, Jenny’s persistence and Dan’s fighting spirit have proven those predictions wrong.
“Dan was never supposed to do anything but lay on his back his whole life, but he’s doing a hell of a lot more than that,” Jenny said.
The now 22-year-old can walk short distances and is showing signs of improved cognitive ability.
Jenny said he showed the greatest signs of life, not to mention enhanced brain function, when exploring nature.
But the single mother and sole carer can’t take Dan further than the backyard or the local swimming pool because she needs an adult-size bed to change his nappies.
“Things like going to the beach or driving more than half-an-hour away we can’t do because I have nowhere to change him,” she said.
The Kealba mother has started a gofundme campaign to raise $90,000 to help pay for a modified van with an adult bed inside and enough room to allow her to change him.
“I don’t know how I’m going to reach this total but it’s the only way I can give Dan the life he deserves,” she said. “Daniel is my life.”
So far, she has raised $845.
To donate, go to www.gofundme.com/vanfordan.