Danyiel's Story

Finding hope and healing a tragic loss

For two years, Danyiel White has been grieving the deaths of her husband and son. She was not working and depression overtook her. She didn’t eat and had not moved from the sofa in weeks. When her leg began to ache one day, Danyiel had no idea that she was about to embark on a medical odyssey.

The 46-year-old took herself to the emergency room, where doctors discovered her lower body was riddled with wounds and sores. She was anemic and malnourished, with low potassium and blood sugar.

Surgeons treated her extensive wounds and administered blood transfusions. Some of the wounds were so deep, they needed multiple surgical revisions to clear the infection. In addition to a myriad of intravenous antibiotics, Danyiel also needed several pressurized dressings that required constant monitoring.

Her doctors recommended Select Specialty Hospital – Memphis for its experience treating medically complex patients, including those with significant wound care needs.

Danyiel arrived just before Thanksgiving, hoping to heal her injuries and gain a healthy amount of weight.

Our nurses, therapists and dietitians, in concert with Danyiel’s doctors, created a plan for recovery.

The best part of her stay, she said, was “that everyone stuck together to make me well, and it didn’t take long.”

She had no idea how bad her wounds were, but our nurses explained her injuries, monitored the special dressings and applied medicated creams and ointments.

Physical therapists stepped Danyiel through leg, arm and core exercises designed to build stamina. They helped her take her first steps, then move on to short trips down the hallway.

Dietitians worked with her on a diet full of nutritious options, and she regained 20 pounds. Her desire to eat returned. “I have a wonderful appetite now. I want to eat everything in sight,” she joked.

In a little over 10 days, Danyiel was ready to go home.

She said she appreciated the attentive care she received. Aides and several nurses spent time sitting with her, hearing stories about her life and family. Those moments, Danyiel said, reminded her that there was a lot of life yet to live. She is recommitting herself to staying “stronger than I was when I came in.”

If she has one piece of advice, it’s that to remember “to stay positive, because depression is real and it will take you down.”