Child Abuse And An Attempted Drowning By His Birth Mother Left Michael Severely Handicapped.

Congratulations to Michael. He has made it as a semi-finalist!


Making it into the top 5% of votes is the first step. The next step is where a panel of independent judges review all of the top 5% of stories with the most votes and from there pick the winners. The stories are judged on a number of criteria such, as is your story positive and uplifting? Are you inspirational to others? 

NMEDA will be announcing the winner on or about May 31, 2013. Good luck Michael. 


After you vote for Michael, please join our twitter campaign to help raise awareness and #StopChildAbuse by donating your tweet here

At 8 months old Michael received a traumatic brain injury when one of his primary caregivers shook him and attempted to drown him. When paramedics arrived they had to revive him as his heart was not beating and he was not breathing. The first two weeks he spent in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit he had no visitors as his immediate family was wanted for child abuse. At that time the McDaniel family was contacted to be his foster placement. It was two more weeks before they could take him home (for good as they were able to adopt him and his siblings).

He spent a total of 4 weeks in the hospital. When he was released he had lost the ability to swallow, was blind from the brain injury, had no head control, no functional use of his arms or legs, and a seizure disorder. Three years later he has regained the ability to swallow, is learning new ways to communicate, and recently learned how to use a gait trainer and with its aid was able to walk 4 steps.

Though he is confined to a wheelchair and has a multitude of physical limitations, his spirit remains unbroken. Like any toddler he lets his opinions be known, though instead of saying “no,” he likes to spit food at you. Perhaps the most inspiring aspect of Michael’s personality is his willingness to try new things and his positive disposition.

Michael loves to go everywhere with his three siblings. Attending their soccer games, school events, church activities, and picnic outings bring out the best of his character. Michael loves to attend University of Nebraska football games, cheer with the crowd, and eat hotdogs. At the last game he even called for his own hotdog (sort of anyway, when the hotdog vendor walked by he yelled loud enough for the guy to hear him!).

This van would allow Michael to keep up with his siblings, attend sporting and church events, and continue to experience the world around him to the fullest extent possible and as comfortably as possible.

Michael is our hero because he doesn’t let the trauma he experienced get him down. He greets everyday with a positive happy oulook even though he faces an uphill battle to overcome his phsycial challenges.