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Danny's Story

Danny survived a fire that left him with disfiguring facial scars and a prosthetic left arm. Adapting to his new life is a daily struggle, and Danny often longs for things the way they were before his accident.

He misses playing with his little brother Angel, who is shy and awkward around Danny since he returned home. He wishes his family didn’t tiptoe around his feelings, and he wishes his friends would acknowledge his existence. When Danny’s girlfriend breaks up with him, his struggle with self-acceptance spirals, and the negative voice in Danny’s head drives him to believe his situation is hopeless.

The encouragement of Dr. Everton, his occupational therapist, helps break the walls that Danny’s negative thoughts are trying to put up. Danny finds that sharing about his challenges with friends online makes it easier to talk about, helps him recognize the positives in his life, and gives him the confidence to cope with his negative thoughts. Day by day, as he learns to rely on the support of his family and friends, Danny remembers that even though he is adjusting to a new normal, he’s still the same kid he always was.


After a life-changing accident, sixteen-year-old Danny is struggling to take on new physical and mental challenges. His family is well-meaning but awkward, kids at school stare at his scars and prosthetic arm, and his girlfriend thinks they need time apart. He still wakes up with nightmares about the night of the fire, and as he tells Lynn, his occupational therapist, his negative thoughts are making him feel broken and hopeless. He shrugs off her suggestion to talk to a mental health therapist, but Lynn’s validation and support help Danny see that his differences should not define who he is or what he can do with his life.


Watching Angel shoot hoops at the park, Danny summons the courage to ignore his negative thoughts and play a game of 'one on one' with his brother. After their game, Danny feels normal for the first time in months, but later, on his way to physical therapy, a couple of guys on the street mock his prosthetic arm. Danny quickly spirals into self-loathing and regret, remembering the relationships and activities that will never be the same again. though he is despairing, Danny uses his safety plan to help himself cope, and when he finally arrives at Lynn’s office, he asks her for the name of the therapist she had suggested.


Still getting used to his prosthetic arm, Danny’s morning routine leaves him frustrated and irritable. His mom’s over-helpfulness at breakfast adds to his irritation, and when he accidentally breaks a glass, his composure shatters with it. Danny’s negative thoughts take over, causing him to smash up his room until his little brother Angel bursts in and begs him to stop. Later, Lynn suggests that making a safety plan can help Danny cope with his negative thoughts and that sharing his experiences with his peers might be a helpful alternative to keeping his feelings bottled up. Still haunted by that morning’s incident, Danny is eager to try anything to find relief.


Danny feels increasingly comfortable sharing about his experience after his accident on social media, and in a story, recounts the harrowing challenge that his new therapist put him up to: talking honestly with his friends and family. Reconnecting with Angel, his mom, and his best friends, Danny builds a support system to help him cope with the negative thoughts that have haunted his recovery. He still has changes to adjust to, but his relationships help him remember that he's the same person he was before and that his new “normal” is what he makes it.


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