Saturday, March 8, 2008

One Year

We were hoping you could hear directly from Dan on this one year since his accident. He said "I might" a few weeks ago when it was suggested to him, but he's just not taken the time thus far.

Sooooooo. We will post our thoughts about the past year, especially after l
ooking again at photos from the past year and reliving each emotion all over. It has been one whole year since we received "THAT" phone call.
The photos of Dan in the hospital in Mexico, the air ambulance trip to the U.S., the 2 weeks at Northwestern were pretty heavy-duty scary. The tubes in his nose and mouth, the halo -- We guess, no we know, there has been progress!!

Remember when we were concerned if he could even eat solid food for 2 months, and the joy when he said
"I'd like a Happy Meal". LOL
And yet, in some ways, those days were not as hard as today, because we had the hope that Dan might "get well." We didn't know the full extent of what spinal cord injury meant, and doctors nor hospitals want to break the bad news to anyone. [Silly us] AND Dan has the worst case scenario: C1 & C2 break, vent dependent.

You would never believe how often we think about the kindness shown to us during our 5-month stay in Chicago.

Thank you to ...

-Cliff and Phoebe for giving us your condo while Dan was at Northwestern
-Jim and Sandy for loaning us your condo the
entire time Dan was at RIC. Their family and friends agreed to give up many Chicago weekends so that we would have a "home" convenient to RIC . [Deb was so thankful that every morning and every evening, she had this wonderfully refreshing 15 minute walk. Bill stayed all night with Dan every night in those first few months.] By the way, we had never met either of these couples before!
-HCA for giving me leave of my teaching responsibilities the rest of that year
-MLS Direct Network [Bill's business partners] for extra residual pay for 3 months.

-you all flooded us with food gift cards
and our frig was kept stocked
-Alan and crew built Dan's temporary room and ramps

-you helped sell our house in 1 week, by doing landscaping, painting, cleaning, packing
-you prayed Dan physically through Jen's wedding day [he has not sat upright like that since.]
-many visited, spending more time driving, than visiting,
- Cedarville & OPE friends came at great time and expense
-concerts that benefited Dan & preparations for his return to CU
-some spent the night with Dan, giving Bill and me some free time

-you generously provided money for a handicap van.
-you sent gifts and cards,
-mostly, you prayed.
Physically, we were in want for nothing.

Emotionally, we are still trying to make sense of this "portion" given to us.
When we were still in Mexico one of our pastors called and asked how he could pray. We knew that in those initial, numbing days, that we were constantly being prayed for; so even though we had no idea that this injury was forever, we knew that the long haul is where it gets hard, so that was my request -- that we would not get discouraged and displease our Savior. Thank you for praying for us. We are not the only family that is going through a severe injury situation. We have had many discouraging days, many fearful days, but when we turn our eyes to the Lord, He refreshes us still. The hardest thing for us now is that we thought we would get home from rehab and Dan would be upright in his chair and roaming around, taking online classes or attending the local community college, and "spunky" again. He's not there yet.

When we look at photos before his accident he has that fun, alive smile. We know that will come if he ever gets past all of these physical ailments. There is always something hurting Dan. We also know that until he can see purpose for his future life, his life will not hold much of a purpose. Thanks to those who have already expressed and sent "anniversary" thoughts to You can't possibly know how much we appreciate that you still care to check in on Dan and us, so often. We are humbled.

Dan & Deb at CU Feb '07

One thing for sure: My heart and my flesh may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Psalm 73:26


Jane-Jane said...

Dan, chronic pain just plain old stinks...I do know that from experience. satan will do all kinds of things to get in your way of recovery. Dude, I'm praying that you get spunky again, SOON!!! You got stuff to do!

praying in SC,

beth said...

Knudsen family,
Congrats seem weird to say but know one but your family knows the challenges and triumphs(like just eating)that you have had....congrats then is very appropriate. The first year after such an injury is just brutal. I observe your faithfullness to the only one who can truly sustain us through such trials. The people that He hand picks to be used are priceless. You will continue to progress. Be encouraged dear family. Any time you want some activity-based info I would love to spill the good news! Love to you all from snowy Ohio.
Beth Malarkey

Chicago Momma said...


I have known you for many years now and you might not remember me but I went to Fox Valley and was in youth group with Matt and Jen. I was even at your house for a New Years Eve party years ago. I just wanted to say that I check in on Dan often and think of you and pray for you all. You are an inspiration to many and continue to bring glory to God through your lives. You are in our hearts.

Kristin (Brennan) Bartholomew

Janni said...

Dear Knudsen family,

You've been on our hearts especially these past weeks, knowing the one year anniversary was coming up. You have been so faithful and encouraging to us who have "watched" you go through this most difficult time. Don't let up. There is a purpose. God will explain it all one of these days, and you'll be honored to have been chosen for this precise walk with Him. We don't know any of the answers but we can trust that He does know them. He cares and He cries with you (as well as us). The people who know their God... Dan 12. You are some of them. Keep trusting and we are still praying for you. I check on Dan about once a week to make sure you are all doing ok.

We so wish we could make everything "better" and bring you out of this situation but at least we can walk it with you in some way.

We think of you and pray for you so very often.

With love,
Sergio and Janni

Anonymous said...

Honestly, not a day goes by that I don't check in on Dan and share the news with our family. Our two children have followed your journey through my updates and pray for all of you DAILY.

We don't know all the answers.
We don't know all the reasons.
We don't know why things happen the way they do.

We do know that there is purpose in every life.
We do know that God loves us and made us in His image.
We do know that Dan's spirit inspires and encourages more people than we could truly really ever know.

We do know that the love and commitment of a family is deeply impacting and the greatest act of love on earth.

We do know that amidst devastating circumstances, God is at work and is crafting His plans to bring us to glory.

We do know that God loves Dan with a depth to which we cannot comprehend...

We also know that, although you don't know our names, we love and pray for you all...

Anonymous said...

Constantly thinking of you guys and praying for continued growth and improvement...
Eric and Kati Carter

elj377 said...

We think and talk about you all often..Wow! Struggles and Heartache are so hard and yet they are what mold us into the image of Christ if we are dependent on HIM. Thank you for showing your dependence on God through this year. We love all of you and are looking forward to that day when Dan gets to that next step whatever it may be. I love Ps. 27 about God being our refuge and strength a very present help in trouble! May God bless you this week and throughout this anniversary month...don't be afraid to be proud of where you are now Dan and to cling to God's promises. Our God can and is doing amazing things.

We love you,
Erin and Dan Jonathan
Janea nd Jaron too.

Anonymous said...

I check this site often and pray for your entire family. You have been a blessing, inspiration, and challenge to me. Your candid observations about life, the struggles, the celebrations, and the big unknowns are a ministry of enocuragement to all who read this blog. Thanks, also, for letting us know how we can help share this burden, as we should.

Chafe said...

Dan, i will never forget los feos, that special young 1st grader yelling "captain Scwatch!!!", the sight of you owning every camper in basketball, Ham running around in his new favorite red track jacket, and the plethora of bandanas. I will also never forget the encouragement I received from our early morning talks in the cafeteria before the ring of the breakfast bell. Finally, I will never forget how passionately you wanted to serve those kids, and give of yourself to the mission at hand.

As the ambulance raced away, nobody knew what to think.

One thing is for sure. God's Spirit moved like nothing I've ever seen. Everybody was on their knees. The volume of Worship was deafening. The prayers and tears were real. Hearts were tender. The gospel was shared among the cabins. Leaders were stepping up. Decisions were being made for Christ. People were saved. Two were baptized the next day. Then they all went home.

When we saw you the next day in the hospital, and tried to explain how God used you to save at least a couple lives, possibly more that we don't know about, through your tubes and halo, you mouthed "Praise God, Praise God."

It's been a year since then. You're improvements have been immense. Your fighting spirit has inspired us. Families around the globe watching your story have been forced to consider their blessings. Only God knows how many lives have been touched, and I bet He's excited to fill you in when you get to heaven. I'm sure we'll all be there together to hear the good news and praise Jesus. I know one thing for sure: I can't wait to hit the heavenly courts with you, Mike, and the gang, and engage in some RASP C-league hoops once again. I'm sure once we're in heaven, we'll look back on our earthly lives, and muse over how short it actually was, and realize that any sacrifices we made for God were really so incredibly worth it. What we used to think of as "forever" will at last look like a vapor...

"So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal." I Cor. 4

"But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself." Phil. 3

Anonymous said...

It's been a year and I love to see how much you've improved! Think back and give thanks. I can't imagine it but remember that you will walk again. I pray as often as I remember. It may not be on this earth but you will. Camp was a blast and we thought of you often. love you! your little camper friend, caris

i am a fan of los feos!

Anonymous said...

Dear Dan and family,
No words are coming to my mind as I desire to write my heart to you. All your friends said everything so beautiful.
My heart aches for you, a young, handsome follower of Christ, should have to suffer so.
Beth Malarkey and I were just talking the other day about the differences and similaries of Dan and Alex's situation. Alex is now 9 but was 6 when he was in an accident. c1c2, vent dependent. We thought of how difficult it must be at Dan's age who had already tasted independence and had great plans for his life, where as Alex was still so dependent on "mommy". That first year for them was aweful. Beyond aweful. They also had a 4 and 2 year old and a 3 day old. God does allot of things I don't try to understand. But I do know they survived it. They are still surviving it. Only by the grace of God.
Dan, you are in my prayers. I lift you up to Jesus for a healing. If not a physical healing, a soul healing.
In Him,
Connie from Ohio

Anonymous said...


I can't believe I missed the anniversary. I knew it was near, but missed the day. It has been a great pleasure to have the opportunity to spend time with you for the past several months. I am so blessed by my time with you and seeing your progress--both in your health and attitude. I'm not suggesting your life has gotten easier. I know you still suffer a great deal.I just know I enjoy seeing your sweet smile, when it once wasn't there.

With heartfelt love and care,

thensch said...

Dear Knudsens,

I'm sorry I missed the anniversary! I knew it was near because at this time last year I was asking my student teaching kids to pray for you I will be having my students pray as well. I just want you all to know that we love you and are praying for you during this time, looking back on a year ago. We pray that God will continue to carry you and for His continued guiding through each issue along the way.

God bless,
Tobi and Paul

Michelle said...


You don't know me, but I heard your story through a prayer chain a year ago. My parents are on mission in Mexico City, and I used to live in Aurora, Illinois.

I have had you and your family on my prayer list for a year now, and the progress you have made brings tears to my eyes. I can really see that all the prayers (from me and others) are working.

Keep up the great work! God is doing amazing things through you!