"I'm sure glad I married her," Danielle's husband said
They had been married for only seven months (after dating for only two) when a 2010 motorcycle accident left Matt comatose, on life support, and with only a 10 percent chance of recovery. Doctors recommended letting him die, but Danielle refused to give up on her husband, bringing him home to her mother’s house. (Matt’s father died two years prior, and his own mother was too ill to take him in.)
“If he’s going to be a body in a bed, let’s give him something to look at,” Danielle told her mother, according to ABC News.
Apparently, it worked: Matt started following the pair with his eyes, and he eventually regained some small measures of physical acuity. Danielle remembers the moment she knew Matt’s personality was still intact – when she asked him what he wanted to eat, he responded in a whisper, “Buffalo chicken wrap from Cheddar’s,” a favorite meal of his before the accident. “We all whipped around because we all knew what he said.”
Since completing a rehabilitation program, Matt is walking and driving a stick shift again. He and Danielle play Scrabble and go to yoga classes together. But it’s been an uphill battle: Though he’s retained some of his sense of humor and long-term memory, he doesn’t remember dating Danielle or marrying her. He’s had to get to know her all over again, including their pet names for each other: “Mattie” or “Cake” for him and “Baby” or “Doughnut” for her.
The couple have come a long way from when doctors were telling Danielle to let Matt die. “I’m sure glad I married her,” he told ABC, in what surely qualifies as one of the grand understatements of their life together.