On August 11th, 2010 Daniel suffered a traumatic brain injury. While working for a cable company and making repairs to some overhead lines, he fell approximately twenty feet from the top of a telephone pole in Teaneck, New Jersey to the street below. A passing motorist called 911 and they responded finding a seriously injured patient, which they thought would not survive the trip to Hackensack Hospital. Amazingly, Daniel made it to the emergency room, where after the doctors' initial assessment, surmised that his internal cranial pressure was too high. A decision was made to remove a portion of his skull to alleviate the pressure and hopefully save his life. Since the brain continues to swell over five days, the doctors were not optimistic that he would survive as his brain was severely damaged in the fall. They placed Daniel in a drug-induced coma to keep him calm and allow his body to heal. Against all odds, Daniel survived those five days. The doctors warned his family that he would be probably left with severe brain damage, but the extent would not be known until they woke him from the coma.
Approximately two weeks after the accident, Daniel was out of the coma and steadily making improvement. He knew his name, who his loved ones were, but he still had lapses in memory and suffered from confusion. After a month in the hospital, a decision was made to transfer Daniel to Kessler Rehabilitation Center in West Orange, New Jersey.
The next two months of intense therapy from the doctors and therapists at Kessler would be critical to his recovery. With their help, he relearned basic skills, such as how to walk and talk, and how to manage pain. Then began intensive therapy, that would continue for over a year and half to rebuild his cognitive function. If you met Daniel today, you would not realize the extent of his injuries other than the obvious scars he has over his body. This would not have been possible without the exceptional team approach and dedication of the staff at Kessler.
Although Daniel has some long term effects from his injury; he suffers from double vision, loss of hearing in his right ear, requires the use of a walking cane on bad days, gets regular adjustments to his shunt and still suffers from continuous pain, he will not let that interfere with the gift of life the doctors, nurses, and therapists at Hackensack Hospital and Kessler have gifted him. He is optimistic about his future and continues to move forward.