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Miracle man Daniel Trowell loves life
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Daniel Trowell recovers from surgery. - photo by Photo provided

As Thanksgiving ends, a young man from the Clyo area is grateful he is a survivor.  Daniel Trowell, age 16, and his parents will tell you without reservation that he is a “miracle.” As he converses with his quick wit and warm smile, it is hard to fathom all this young man has endured.

When Daniel was born, he came early at 27 weeks and weighed 2 pounds, 2 ounces. He spent six months in the neonatal unit and hospital. He required treatment for an intestinal abnormality and has cerebral palsy.

At age 3, he had surgical releases in St. Louis on his legs to enable him to be able to walk better. He got very sick a few months later while he was in therapy and was diagnosed with leukemia.

During his first chemotherapy at Memorial, he went into kidney failure and was moved to Eggleston Children’s Hospital in Atlanta. He was in a coma for 46 days. Daniel was treated for cancer and was on hemodialysis. A severe yeast infection developed and he got a form of meningitis. The family relocated to Atlanta.

His parents, Gregg and Lisa Trowell, fought to get Daniel the best care possible. They relocated to Alabama, where he received dialysis. He received chemotherapy for two-and-a-half years and had two weeks of high-dose radiation on his head.

Young Trowell overcame cancer and the family moved back home to Effingham County. Daniel’s kidney failure was managed with peritoneal dialysis done at home. His parents were faithful to maintain the dialysis and keep all the needed supplies and equipment. They endured many trips to the doctor and lots of episodes with his health.

The family sought a kidney transplant for Daniel. Most of his education was home-bound schooling, due to his ailments and potential for infection. Finally, on Sept. 10, 2008, Daniel Trowell got a kidney transplant at Eggleston in Atlanta.

The transplant allowed Daniel less isolation, attending school sporadically. For the last two years, Daniel was able to attend more school than in his whole life, but he was in pain. Walking had become so painful that he needed pain medication. Both hips need reconstruction, and surgery to correct his foot drop should make it easier to walk. He has had an extremely hard time with pain as his tolerance is low.

The first hip surgery on Oct. 28 has required Daniel to spend many weeks in a body cast while he heals. Since the cast is straight and heavy, his mother was unable to handle him alone. In order to turn him, meet the activities of daily living or drive him, it takes both parents to move him. They are using a harness restraint for him to lay in the SUV to transport him.

Gregg has been on a leave of absence from his work to care for Daniel that extends for a few more weeks. This leave is without pay. Lisa is a full-time caregiver at home for Daniel. After he gets out of the cast, there will be therapy. Hopefully the worst days of this procedure will soon be behind him.

Daniel looks forward to going to church and singing at Laurel Hill Lutheran Church soon. The Lord has looked after this young man, delivering him from what seems insurmountable pain and suffering time after time. Conversation about getting back in school once therapy is done brightens Daniel’s face.

Although small in stature, he is full of life and looks forward to his 17th birthday on Dec. 23. Everyone who meets him loves Daniel, from his nurses to strangers in waiting rooms.  He is indeed a “miracle” — an answer to the prayers of so many.

Daniel’s pastor, Rev. Al Fernandez, asked me to do this story and try to help Daniel’s family. If you would like to help offset their expenses, mail a check made out to Laurel Hill Lutheran Church clearly marked for Daniel Trowell, to P.O. Box 185, Clyo, GA 31303. The Trowell family would be most grateful.

This was written by Susan Exley of Historic Effingham Society. If you have photos, comments or information to share, contact Susan Exley at 754-6681 or email her at: