Shannon Zisa Accident: Read below Shannon and Dane Zisa recovery update six months after the fatal crash that killed their daughter Adalyn Zisa on June 2, 2019.
Shona Lynn Wallace, 48, had allegedly crashed her vehicle, a 2000 Mazda 626, into Zisa’s family as they rode their bikes on a sidewalk in Altamonte Springs, at Maitland Boulevard and Eden Park Road.
Adalyn Zisa, 17 months old, was killed while her parents Shannon and Dane were seriously injured.
Dane sustained a traumatic brain injury, suffered multiple shattered and broken bones, had many internal organ issues, was placed on a ventilator, and not expected to live day of the accident.
Read below a touching update from Shannon. She shared this beautiful photo of her family before the accident and wrote:
What my heart wouldn’t give to go back to this day! My heart longs for the two people I love most.
This was our Christmas picture last year but it was Adalyn who truly stole the show that day. We only had her here for one Christmas but we did it all and it was the happiest time in my life.
I have been searching for the right words to express my gratitude to each and every one of you that contributed in any way to us yesterday and over the past 6 months.
My heart is overwhelmed by the kindness that has been shown to my family. Thank you… it’s truly not enough to express my heartfelt gratitude but again it’s all I can say.
I’m humbled and honored. 👨👩👧💜👼🏻🎀🌷🧸
Today is 6 months, 26 weeks, 182 days since my world was shattered. Our sweet baby girl, Adalyn, passed away. My husband sustained a traumatic brain injury, suffered multiple shattered and broken bones, had many internal organ issues, was placed on a ventilator, and not expected to live through the night.
I laid broken on a sidewalk watching this nightmare unfold in front of my eyes. I couldn’t move, couldn’t get to either one of them, all I could do was scream and beg people to help us.
There were so many heroes from that night. So many amazing people that rushed to help instead of just being a bystander and to those people I am forever grateful. I’m thankful to the people that tried to save my baby, to the rescuers that moved quickly to give my husband a shot at life and the rescuer that knelt on the sidewalk to pray the words I couldn’t find because I was in shock.
Yesterday as I pushed my walker down the long corridor that leads to the elevators in the hospital, I couldn’t help but be overtaken by emotion.
I was personally in this very hospital for 31 days, I learned of my daughter’s passing in this hospital’s emergency room, I spent the first few months in this hospital’s ICU with my husband, begging him to live and visiting him every day whether by bed, recliner, wheelchair, or walker.
Since my release from the hospital I have spent the last 153 days going down that long corridor to visit my husband. Two weeks ago I completed what seemed like the impossible, I walked from my hotel to the hospital all by myself, with the use of my walker, and in doing so I regained some of my independence.
A couple days before Thanksgiving however I laid in bed suffering from my second nervous breakdown. My body had quit. I could hardly move and required assistance to get up. Lights burned my eyes and blurred my vision, and I had no desire to eat. I’m tired, really tired, all of the time.
It’s a kind of tired that is hard to explain. It’s not one where I can just take a nap and suddenly feel better. It’s a tired that builds up until my body just quits and my brain shuts off everything to allow processing of all of this pain and pressure I’m constantly under.
There’s nothing I can do to stop it and nothing I can do to speed it up. So when it happens we wait and we pray that my brain will calm down and resume normal function soon. It’s a surreal experience because I’m aware of my surroundings, I’m capable of making important decisions, my body has just failed from the constant stress, pressure, and PTSD.
Dane continues to make amazing progress and I’m so incredibly proud of him. He definitely knows he’s married and he’s proud to show you his wedding band if you ask.
He is starting to eat purred food and with assistance he’s working on beginning to feed himself. He has done exceptionally well. It should come as no surprise to anyone that knows him that the chocolate anything on his tray is his favorite food.
He’s also made friends with many nurses and these friendships manage to produce extra chocolate pudding cups! He doesn’t hurt for attention as I will often go to visit and find that the nurses have brought him to their station in his fancy wheelchair to hang with them.
He waves at the people passing by and has been deemed the floor mayor. He’s also been up and out of bed to attempt the treadmill. It takes a small staff of therapists but he can do it with a little (lots) of assistance and he is so proud.
The first time he was able to take a few steps there wasn’t a dry eye in the room and staff from all his previous floors in the hospital came to cheer him on. Everyone was just so excited for him. We have good days but the bad days are always lurking.
They call it waxing and waning. The hope is that with more time that will slow and we will have longer periods of the good days. He has a pretty severe cognitive delay but it doesn’t mean the information isn’t in there, it just means it takes him extra time to locate it.
His sense of humor is still in tact though. He smiles, laughs, and chuckles. It’s truly amazing to watch this man that was supposed to die the night this nightmare began.
While he has made amazing progress, he is not the Dane we all knew and loved. His road to recovery and our road through this nightmare remains so long and unpredictable.
With each passing day my heart longs more and more for our precious baby girl. I don’t know how to be here without her. Adalyn changed my life in so many ways.
She made me a better person, taught me about a love I never knew existed, and brightened my whole world. I can remember so many times sitting on the couch, watching Adalyn play, and feeling like my heart could explode because I loved her so much. I was in awe of this precious, beautiful, and sweet little girl.
Now without her here life for me is a constant struggle. I miss being her Mama here and planning our daily activities. I miss our mommy and me breakfast time and lunch time when we’d talk about the day and look out the window for birdies and squirrels. I miss picking out bedtime stories and rocking her while we said our prayers.
I miss kissing her goodnight and feeling her wrap her little arms around my neck. I miss her every single day, in a million different ways.
Recently a nurse at the hospital suggested participating in Giving Tuesday as a way to help us financially since she knows that Dane was the sole provider for our family and I was a stay at home mommy for Adalyn.
Truthfully, I had never heard of it and I had no idea what it was but after looking into it I will always participate but hopefully I won’t always need to be the one that needs help. Here’s the definition that I found for those of you who were like me and had never heard of it.
Giving Tuesday, often stylized as #GivingTuesday for the purposes of hashtag activism, refers to the Tuesday after U.S. Thanksgiving in the United States. It is a movement to create an international day of charitable giving at the beginning of the Christmas and holiday season.
As much as it pains me to admit this, we really need help. Our journey is a long one and will continue to require extensive care. I want to keep our house so that if/when Dane has the option to go home he will have his home to go home to.
When that day comes there will costs to modify our home for him and equipment to be purchased for him. I want to be near him because he needs me and I need him but there are hotel costs and food costs involved.
Let’s not even go into the fact that the driver that caused all of this was uninsured and there will be plenty of medical bills to go around. We have no way of setting a realistic financial goal because the expenses from this nightmare just keep mounting.
So, with a very humble heart, I ask you to consider being part of Giving Tuesday. I ask you to participate in memory of Adalyn.
She was always so happy and so willing to help. She brought joy to every room she entered. Please know that every dollar amount helps and I am so grateful to each and everyone of you that continue to be with us on this long journey to going home. There are 3 additional ways to give:
Go Fund Me: https://www.gofundme.com/f/1o6sdjtjmo?sharetype=teams&member=2427052&utm_medium=copy_link&utm_source=customer&utm_campaign=p_na+share-sheet&rcid=2bd6b0bf62d040bb8b71386788c7d82d
Please help us to reach more people by sharing this post. The more people that share the more people that see our story and can join us on our journey.
I thank you all for being part of this journey and will continue to post updates. I hope to join you next year on Giving Tuesday as a giver to a cause that truly needs help.
May your holiday season be filled with good times, laughter, and memories made. For those of us facing our first holiday season without our child or loved one please know that you are all in my prayers.
Shannon, Dane, and Adalyn 👼🏻
Visit Shannon’s GoFundMe page HERE.