Danielle Josey Davis had been married only seven months when a devastating motorcycle accident left her husband on life support and in a coma.
Doctors recommended letting Matt Davis die because there was a 90 percent chance he would never wake up, but Danielle told ABC News she decided it just wasn’t time yet. Then, one day, he woke up.
“I’m sure glad I married her,” Matt Davis told ABC News today, though he doesn’t remember Danielle from before the 2010 crash that caused his traumatic brain injury.
Danielle was 24 when the accident happened, and had only started dating Matt, then 23, two months before their wedding.
Matt’s father had died two years before the accident, and his mother was too ill to take care of him, Danielle said. But Danielle made the decision to keep him on life support and eventually fought to get him into rehab and to take him home, moving back into her mother’s house.
“If we’ve got to bring him home, let’s make sure he has the best view in the world,” she remembered telling her mother. “If he’s going to be a body in a bed, let’s give him something to look at.”
Soon, Matt started following them with his eyes, and then he started communicating, Danielle said.
Three months after the accident, Danielle was holding Matt up in his bed trying to emulate what his therapist had done in rehab by asking him to reach out and grab a toy motorcycle. He’d never done it before, but this day, he did it, Danielle recalled. It was a start.
The moment Danielle really felt that her husband’s personality was still intact was when they asked him what he wanted to eat, and he responded in a barely audible whisper. “I kid you not, he says, ‘buffalo chicken wrap from Cheddar’s,'” she said, explaining that it had been his favorite food. “We all whipped around because we all knew what he said.”
They eventually got him to another rehabilitation program for two and a half months. And he left on his own two feet with a walker, Danielle said.
It’s taken some time for Matt to regain his sense of humor and his long-term memory, but he doesn’t remember dating or marrying Danielle. He’s gotten to know her all over again. She calls him “Mattie” or “cake,” and he calls her “baby” or “doughnut.”
They play scrabble and enjoy going to yoga classes together, and he’s recently started driving a stick shift car for fun because he loves cars, she said.