Thursday, September 17, 2009

How about another ice chip?

After a 7-hour surgery yesterday to clean and debride the wounds on the lower half of Dan's body, he spent the rest of the afternoon resting and catching up on sleep. The surgeons gave us a very good report from the OR - all of his wounds look very good from their standpoint. Very clean, with no infection. He is going back to surgery tomorrow, for more wound cleaning and a possible revision of his amputation. One leg may require revision to above-the-knee to better fit his prosthesis. He will eventually need pins placed surgically to fix his fractured pelvis, but this can't happen until his open wounds in the area are fully healed. He can't begin any sort of orthopedic rehab with his legs until the pelvis is healed. We don't know how long this will take, but we are all hopeful that no complications will arise and Dan will progress as expected.

Moving on to the subject of how to make a SEAL in the ICU happy:

Ice chips - raging success
Ear plugs
Old Spice deodorant
Ice packs
Anything cold
His nurse Kelly
Arm exercises

He's a simple man, really. And the best patient ever. He is always so polite to the nursing staff and the doctors - they all cried when he spoke for the first time Tuesday. I wish everybody on earth could spend 5 minutes in a hospital room with this guy. His stories are hilarious and his attitude is always inspiring.

The day he first woke up was so exhausting for him. Everybody wanted to see him and hear how funny he was, understandably. He felt so happy and was pretty impressed with the turnout. Today has been designated as Dan's Sabbath Day - only rest, no visitors. He really needs this right now because he's so exhausted from visitors, surgery, sleep deprivation, and 10 years of being a badass.

Thank you to all who have sent such heartfelt and inspiring messages. We are printing them off and reading them to him a few at a time, eventually all your messages will reach him.

With all our love and gratitude,

Dan's family


  1. Dan!

    Katie and I have been keeping you in our thoughts and prayers. We can't wait to see you when the time is right. I'm glad Rob (shipwreck) and Kelly are with you too.

    God Bless,
    Jake Tomlin

  2. Dan,

    Keep it up, buddy. You're in our thoughts and prayers.

    Dan H

  3. Dan, My family and I are praying for your speedy recovery and thank you for your great sacrifice for your country. You truly embody what heroes are made of. Godspeed!

    Kris, Nicole, Jade and Ethan Hefner

  4. So glad the surgeries are going well & that your attitude is so positive! Stay tuned for care packages from all your SHHS friends.

  5. Dan,

    We at ST-1 are fervently praying for you and wishing you a speedy recovery. Hang in there and know that you being cheered on by one and all!

    Your ST-1 Family

  6. You are always in my thoughts and prayers. Take care.

    Chad Busenitz

  7. Dan-

    Continuing to send lots and lots of positive energy to you and your family. I am so glad all your surgeries are going well. Relax when you can! You deserve the rest!

    We're all so proud of you.

    Lauren Coia Friedman & Family

  8. My name is Tennille graduated from SHHS in 95. I wanted to let you know how much I appreciate your service to our country. My family has a history of Navy service and I was brought up to respect the flag, our country and especially our service men and women. So thank you! You are in my thoughts and prayers. Keep up your spirits and when it gets dark look at those around you for support!

  9. Dan,
    only now will you completely understand the creed that special ops/the teams will take care of you unlike many other branches. it's that unspoken bond that is only enforced in light of your current situation. and yes, you need rest, but you need visitors to make you laugh. just my two cents having had so many flashbacks ever since hearing of your recent setback. you have and will continue to be in my prayers brother.

  10. Dan,
    I came by Bethesda today to say "hi" and to meet your family and offer them support, too. You were in surgery and I missed your family by about 10 minutes. I left a note with one of the nurses for your sister. I live south of DC and I am just a phone call away. I would love to come up to see you but I know you need your rest. I'll get in touch with your Mom and sister for a good time to come by.

    cheers mate,
    Leila Gardner

  11. Hi Dan,
    So glad to read the news on this blog & hear how you're doing! I came by today with Leila & just missed everyone. Your positive attitude is really inspiring....After stopping by Bethesda today I went to the climbing gym in Sterling and I had the same thought about pullups, you're going to fly up those walls!
    Hang in there,
    Jon Lindsay

  12. Dan,
    God Bless you son. We have a son at the Academy now wanting to follow your lead with the SEALs upon graduation. You are an inspiration to us all out here. You have so many fans, we love you and pray for your speedy recovery. "knocked down, but not out!" God Bless
    The Aseltons

  13. Dan,

    You truly are an inspiration. Thank you for your service to our country. We continue to pray for you and your family.

    Mike Eldridge

  14. Dan,
    We don't know one another, but I wanted to let you know I appreciate your efforts and service. It sounds like you are an amazing guy with an amazing attitude! I will pray that your surgeries and recovery continue to go well, and that you and your family will receive the support you need and most certainly deserve.

  15. To Dan and family,

    I have been keeping up on your progress and this amazing website since I heard of your accident. I cannot begin to share with you tremendous graditude we feel for your service and lifelong dedication to the freedoms we all share. You are a true testiment of bravery and I continue to pray for your continued strength and recovery. It seems like yesterday we were all playing at recess at Tecumseh South - and now you are a SEAL. We are all better for knowing you and safer because of your service.

    God bless you and your family - we are all cheering for you!

    Brooke Chaffee-Zayas and family

  16. I don't know you Dan, but I know what you stand for. Thank you for your service to OUR COUNTRY. I would like to meet you sometime, shake your hand and give you a hug.Get well and GOD bless you and your family.
    USMC 72-75

  17. Dan,

    I just heard about you from a friend in Moldova who has a church in Arlington, VA praying for you and I live in Romania as a missionary and audiologist. I love you and thank you for your service to us and to the greatest country on God's green earth. My prayers are with you. Tricia