Tuesday, September 22, 2009


After receiving word from the nurses that Dan had passed his swallow test, I rushed to the hospital this morning with a grocery bag full of coconut water, gatorade, and smoothies - thinking that to start off he'd be on a liquid diet only, and all my presents were gonna send him over the moon. I was so excited to give it all to him, and I burst into the room holding my grocery bag proudly, and he was sitting there already eating ice cream, with a tray of spaghetti and meatballs on the table about to get eaten. Not only had they cleared him for swallowing liquids, they took his tube out of his stomach and put him on a regular diet...so now he can drink and eat anything he wants! My presents lost a little bit of their flare after that. But he was still appreciative.

A menu for his next meal was sitting on the table, and his nurse was helping him to make selections for what he'd like tonight. He had her select the following for him - and this is not a joke:

Cottage cheese, American cheese, fresh fruit plate, fresh vegetable plate, cheeseburger, turkey sandwich, roast beef sandwich, grilled cheese sandwich, peanut butter and jelly sandwich, chicken strips, pizza, pie, ice cream, and vanilla wafers.

Whether all of that is actually going to make it onto his tray tonight is another story. But at least he gave it a shot.

Surgery yesterday went really well - they revised the amputation on the right leg, so he now has bilateral above-the-knee amputations. Always looking at the positive, Dan pointed out that he'd rather have both of his legs the same length anyways. The doctors are still trying to find the best way to control his pain, because he can't be on such heavy-hitting pain medications when he leaves the ICU. So they are trying some new options right now to see what will be most effective for him when he moves to the 5th Floor.

Unfortunately I have to leave Bethesda for a couple of days to take care of some stuff back in New York, so I am leaving my mom in charge of updating everyone on Dan's progress. I know she is excited to put her thoughts on here.

Thank you again for the continued support.



  1. Hello Leslie and Alice,

    I have been reading your updates regularly. And we have been praying for Dan in our daily rosary. I have been telling everyone I know about him and asking for more prayers.

    God Bless,
    Blythe Armesto (Garrison)

  2. awesome news! he doesn't just take steps forward, he takes leaps. :) I'm not surprised!

    see you again soon!

  3. So happy to hear he passed the swallow test and gets not only liquids but real food also!!! Tell him to keep up the good work!

    ST-1 Family Member

  4. I gotta be honest.....when we wwere in Iraq I saw dan several times a day but it was usually when he was walking to the chow hall!

  5. Keep it up, Dan! praying for you and pulling for you!

    Dan Hancock

  6. Geez, Dan! That is quite an tall order! On the road to recovery. Great to hear. :) - Gracie Chang

  7. how can they offer him a burger without a milkshake and fries?

  8. Dan really did get an A+ on the swallow test. Prayers for pain relief.

  9. Dan, I really hope you got to eat EVERYTHING on your list today!

  10. I really can't stop laughing about all the food Dan ordered!!! It is cracking me up! I am so happy and amazed as always to hear how well he is doing!!! I am going to be selfish tonight and admit that I am so happy that Leslie had to come back to NYC!! I just got to hang out with her for like an hour and it was a blast! Dan you have the best nurse at your side...and lucky she is your sister! Dan, Les, and Alice, I am thinking about you and praying for you as always. I made a special trip to church this weekend to pray for you...just so you know. Love you tons!
    PS. It is also cracking me up how Dan is trying to be such a perfect patient! It sounds like the mentality of an overachiever! Keep up the overachieving Dan!! XOXO

  11. I love this story! It's soo exciting to hear that Dan is making such significant strides and you certainly deserve lots and lots of ice cream! :) Thanks, Leslie, for all these great updates. It makes my day to sign in and read all about Dan's exciting progress. I hope you and your mom are doing okay and taking care! We are all praying for you as well! Keep up the great work, Dan!!! Love, Kristen

  12. Dan,
    We are watching the blog every day for news and so glad to see the progress. Not to put any more pressure you than I'm sure you've already put on yourself, but we are expecting the greatness to continue. Prayers and open invititation for anything are still being sent your way.

    Cousin Eric

  13. So happy to hear he passed the swallow test!!! Leslie, you have a way with words and I love to read your updates. I could almost feel your excitement when you burst into the room with that bag:) Keep up the great work Dan! We are all praying for you:) You are truely an inspiration.

  14. we really appreciate your comments Leslie, it keeps us connected and we pass the information on to our prayer chain. I also announce in church Sunday a.ms as people are cheering him on.
    Daniel.....the Lord has more work for you to do. Rest well and be well now because you are special.
    Carol and Tom Cole

  15. Dan, Leslie and Alice,

    Thank you for all the wonderful updates. Dan is an awesome man who has a beautiful family standing by him for sure. May GOD continue to bless you and charge his Angels to have concern over you all. We will continue to pray for you. I talked to the guys today as well and we are happy that you can drink and eat now because we have plans to consume many beers with you when we get back! Until then Brother, keep getting after it.

    Your Brothers,
    SEAL Team ONE Alpha Platoon

  16. I came to know Dan through the local Coronado E News, and re posted his story on my personal blog. He is an amazing man and if he ever gets to Coronado, I would love to meet him personally to shake his hand. Dan and his family will be in my thoughts and prayers. I'm so happy to read the latest news today.


  17. The ministry here at USNA has been praying for you and your family since 8 September, and I want you to realize what a "GREAT SCRIBE" that GOD has blessed you (and us) with - LESLIE. THANX for all the emotional / compassionate / and informative updates that you have shared with all od Dan's family/friends/and interested folks since this new chapter in your life started.

  18. Sounds like his typical King Hall plate!

  19. thank you Dan for all you have done for our freedom. Win This Next Fight. God Bless You.