Post-Acute Inpatient RehabilitationAdmit: November 2, 1995Discharge: September 27, 1996
On a quiet, sunny Saturday in September of 1995, Dawni was involved in a single-car accident north of Ames. At the time, she was a Gilbert High School senior and looking forward to starting college the following fall.
In the accident, her brain was severely injured. After receiving critical care for weeks, she transferred to On With Life to begin her year-long rehabilitation program. Her rehab turned out to be much longer than first estimated because of her many wonderful, unexpected improvements. Dawni's mother, Pat, says On With Life holds a special place in their hearts.
"Over that year we developed many strong relationships with the people who worked there," Pat says. "We learned to love our therapists. They were so good to us."
To which Dawni quickly adds, "They were family. It was like a family."
The Hills grew so close to their therapists that Dawni made it a point to do something special for one of them. In her rehabilitation, Dawni developed a talent for calligraphy, and employed that skill to create a decorative Bible verse as a wedding gift.
Dawni still does some calligraphy from time to time and maintains an incredibly active lifestyle. Like most brain injury survivors, getting to where she is today, in the face of many challenges, is the result of hard work, but Dawni also acknowledges the role her faith played in her recovery.
"We hear all the time how people are inspired by her and her hard work," says Pat. "But she always tries to give credit to God for His daily help."