On March 15th, a Tuesday afternoon, Dany was walking down the street back from his piano lesson in San Pedro La Laguna, where we live. During his walk he was struck by a motorcycle. Dany fell backwards and hit his head on the asphalt and immediately lost consciousness. I was at home unaware of what just happened, when the neighbor came banging on the door “Your son was run over!!” Because I had just sent Roberto and Joaquin 10 minutes before to walk to basketball, I was unsure which son was run over! I immediately left the house, fearing the worst, when Joaquín and Roberto came in running and crying – they had found their brother laying on the street surrounded by people. Roberto ran home right away to let me know. Joaquín had bent down to see (in his words), “if my brother was still alive” and was relieved that Dany had opened his eyes; he then ran home to let me know.
Once I arrived to where Dany was, he was already sitting down in front of a house. There were women surrounding him, taking care of him, and giving him words of encouragement. What surprised me the most when I saw him was that other than a small cut on his ear, he didn’t have a single scratch or bruise! Yet when I looked at the mangled motorcycle laying on the street I thought “how is this possible that he does not seem to be hurt?” Immediately I knew, deep down, internal bleeding was the only explanation and Dany needed a CT scan.
Just a week before, Bernardo had left for Colombia, accepting an invitation to preach and evangelize there. I was on my own to get Dany out of town to where more advanced medical care was available, and every minute counted. I took Dany to the local clinic to see Dr. Luz Elena and Bernardo called right as she was examining Dany. I told Bernardo what had happened and that we had to get him to Guatemala City.
From there, a series of events began to take place in which we see now so clearly as God taking care of Dany. I spoke with Pam and David Gonzalez looking for the best option on how to get Dany to the city. The town’s municipality gave me the ambulance service of which we are profoundly grateful. Pam was to escort the other boys to the city in a separate vehicle to meet with my brother Jorge where he would take them. Dr. Luz Elena and I rode in the ambulance together with Dany. This was the LONGEST trip of my life.
The ambulance carried no medical equipment for Dany should he need care and with each passing moment the ride was causing Dany to feel worse with an intense headache and he was growing pale. The only thought and prayer in my mind was “God, don’t let him have a seizure, please, Lord”. The ride was long but when we arrived at the hospital, I immediately saw friends from the city that had come to meet us and offer to help in any way they could.
The hospital is where the emotional roller coaster began as we waited for news, made tough decisions over the phone with Bernardo and we prayed together over and again. The initial diagnosis was that Dany had a severe head injury and the consequences could leave lifelong affects for Dany. His brain was swollen. He needed prompt surgery (cranioplasty) and to be placed in intensive care. Everything went silent around me in that moment, I thought “my child is only 14 years old”.
By then the news began to spread throughout social media and we started to receive texts from all over the world saying, “we are praying for Dany”, “we are here for you”, “do you need anything?”. Still today, those messages have not stopped arriving. There is no way we can possibly express to each and every one of you how thankful we are, nor can we express how much your prayers sustained us and that we always felt your love and Gods presence by our side.
Dany entered the ICU and that evening he went into surgery. The surgery revealed he had not one, but two skull fractures and that blood clots had formed in his brain from the internal bleeding. The neurosurgeon was able to retrieve them, placed titanium plates in Dany’s skull to fix the fractures and drained the blood. The edema was then under control and then- it was time to wait for him to wake up to see how his body would respond.
It was hours, which felt like eternity, before I was able to see him. The doctors were all amazed to see him awake, alert and speaking, even coordinating well. There were moments where he lost memory of events such as the birth of his youngest cousin, but within days he was gaining back these memories. When the resident doctor did his neurological evaluation and said, “it is unbelievable how well he responds!” I called Bernardo and told him “Dany is going to get well.” Together we cried tears of deep joy.
Dany continued in observation in the ICU for a couple of days and then was downgraded to admitted only. After several days in the hospital, Dany was released and sent home, though we stayed in Guatemala City to be near the hospital and attend the various doctor appointments and checkups he needed. His recovery was slow, but favorable. Throughout this process, people joined forces to help us raise funds for the medical bills. To everyone who has helped, who shared the posts and/or donated. WE THANK YOU!
When Bernardo returned from Colombia, his joy was so full seeing his first-born son recovering. Many have asked me if I had wanted Bernardo to return from Colombia to be with us and of course the truth is yes! However, once we knew that Dany was stable and going to make a strong recovery, we both felt at peace and knew that God was having him stay and preach. Even when Dany had awakened and was clear in his thinking he said, “Tell papa to stay and continue preaching, that I will be ok, God is taking care of me.” This decision was not easy for any of us, but we felt it was the right one. We trusted the Lord in this action and felt blessed as we made the choice. After all, God did take amazing care of Dany despite the possibilities.
Two weeks after the accident, the neurosurgeon stated again that Dany could have lost his speech, coordination, or the ability to swallow. He could have even fallen into a long coma. “I see these cases every day” he said “but Dany’s recovery is not common” he told us as he was removing the 33 staples from Dany’s skull.
Since the accident, Dany has been seen by 5 doctors specialized in different areas: neurosurgery, neurology, surgery, pediatrics, and ophthalmology. Each one agrees of the miracle of his recovery and are in awe at the fact that he has no permanent damage of any kind. “Only because I treated you at the hospital”, the neurologist said, “do I know that this encephalogram belongs to the same head trauma patient I met in surgery, because there are no traces of the trauma here.”
A month after the accident, the 5 of us were able to return home. As we arrived the neighbors surprised us with a welcome sign and dinner. There were hugs and tears of happiness in seeing Dany well. We are home. We are where God wants us to be.
We celebrated Dany’s 15th birthday not long ago. He would often turn his head a bit sideways whenever a family member or one of his friends would ask him how he was doing, because the well healed scar and his smile seemed to say it very clearly. God is a God of wonders!
Dear friends, we are so grateful for your prayers, donations, visits, gifts, messages, and the many creative ways that each of you have shown your love and care for us all. We are in awe receiving so much love and support from all around the world! To our immediate family, we are so thankful that you were always supportive and beside us, there are not enough words to express our gratitude. Finally, a special thank you to our Proyecto Fe family in Alaska and across the US.
We have pondered many times how we can possibly thank God for his miraculous work in our son’s life and have decided that declaring his miracle and serving him every day is the only response we can give. We are not perfect, but in His grace and mercy we will move forward each day seeking to live in His will.
GOD WITH US.
Bernardo, Carla, Daniel, Joaquín and Roberto Montenegro