Dominic Danielson, 13
White Bear Lake, MN
Condition: Multiple injuries resulting from a car accident
Tragedy Turns Towards Recovery: Dominic Danielson’s Story
Last January, on a day like any other in Minnesota, Lynette Danielson was driving her son Dominic to hockey practice. Dominic, affectionately known as Dom, was an avid hockey player and excited to get to practice.
In a moment, everything changed.
“It was a horrific car accident, and it was just me and Dominic in the car,” Lynnette recounts. “We were taken to Regions and Dom was moved to Gillette’s intensive care unit. He had sustained multiple injuries.”
Care at Gillette Children’s
Dominic’s injuries were wide ranging. His intestine had been partially severed and had severe damage to the ligaments in his neck.
“We were told Dom needed to have spinal fusion surgery because his spine could no longer support his head due to the damage. It was quite a major surgery,” Lynnette says. “The staff at Gillette were excellent and helped us through that time, but the recovery was very difficult.”
Dominic was in the intensive care unit for 11 days and spent more than 3 weeks at Gillette.
“Dom went several weeks without walking. He’s the type of kid that can’t sit still, so that was quite an adjustment, but he threw himself into his rehabilitation process,” Lynette says. “We also had a great deal of support from our family and friends, along with our entire hockey family. I’d leave Dom’s room for an hour and come back and find some kind of gift or card from members of our community, and that really kept you going.”
Dominic was discharged from Gillette on March 17, 2022. Since then he’s been doing quite well, but like with any type of loss, there is an aspect of grieving that goes along with it.
“We have so many blessings to count and things to be grateful for, that it almost makes you feel guilty to mourn the loss of certain activities,” Lynette says. “Dominic can’t do many of the things he used to do. He’ll never play contact sports again. But he always sees the positive in things. He’s been focusing on hunting and fishing. He wants to learn to skate again and has refused to cut his hockey hair.”
Today, Tomorrow and Forever
Dominic continues in his recovery and is excited to be back in school. He recently had his 6 month follow up appointment at Gillette, and everything seems to be trending in the right direction. Lynette credits the team at Gillette for helping Dominic get to where he is today.
“Gillette really helped us through a difficult time. Dom has 3 siblings and they’re all very close. With COVID going on it was difficult for them not to be able to be together,” Lynette says. “The entire staff was so understanding and found ways for Dom to see them. No one is ever prepared for something like what happened to us, luckily we ended up in a place like Gillette. As getting people back on their feet is what they do.”