Faced with many challenges throughout her childhood, Danielle Davis decided to turn her painful memories into something positive.
As a child Danielle was diagnosed with scoliosis, a curvature in her spine. In approximately 90% of childhood scoliosis cases do not need surgery. Unfortunately, Danielle was a part of the other 10%.
At the age of 12 she underwent her first of many surgeries. This surgery required titanium rods to be infused into her spine to correct the almost 60-degree curve.
Just a few years later, Danielle underwent another surgery to reconstruct her ribs, which were deformed from the scoliosis. During this surgery the surgeons found a staph infection, which ate through her tissue, muscle and went into her bloodstream. This was treated with months of medicine and an intravenous PICC (peripherally inserted central catheter) line inserted into a vein in her arm leading to her heart; now, Danielle could be treated with intravenous medication, but not have to stay in the hospital.
A year later Danielle’s surgeon decided to take out her rods to make sure the infection would not come back. After this procedure, Danielle woke up in extreme pain. She had a post-operative subdural hematoma, a bruise on the brain caused by leaking of the spinal fluid.
“I was alone overnight without pain medication 12 hours after having my rods taken out and my mom found me trying to knock myself out to get rid of the pain in my head,” she recalls.
Fortunately, Danielle was transferred to the Toronto Hospital for Sick Children and treated with proper care.
If it was not for the Toronto Hospital for Sick Children, Danielle may not be here today. “I am so thankful for the experience I had at Sick Kids Hospital. The staff took amazing care of me, making some of the worst weeks of my life something I could look back on in a positive light,” says Danielle.
Danielle had a team of about 10 people working on her case. Everyday they would bring in someone to keep her company and keep her spirits up. “They brought in clowns, people with movies,” Danielle says. “But the thing that touched me the most was they brought in a therapy dog one day to just sit and snuggle with me for half an hour.”
Danielle, now 20-years-old, wants to give back to the Toronto Hospital for Sick Children while also trying to inspire others. After graduating from the fashion program at George Brown College in summer 2012, Danielle realized that her passion for design could be the answer.
As someone who dresses in simple t-shirts and jeans, Danielle thought that designing t-shirts was something she could do well. “Vici [is Latin] for ‘I conquered,’ which is something extremely relevant to not only me, but Sick Kids as well.”
Right now Danielle is selling unisex sweatshirts and t-shirts with her VICI logo on the front through her website. Part of the proceeds will be donated to the Toronto Hospital for Sick Children.“I am hoping to spread a positive message to all of the patients, ex-patients and future patients of Sick Kids,” says Danielle, “to help inspire them to stay strong as much as the hospital inspired me.”