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VH Wahoo
08.06.08, 07:20 AM
This is sure to bring a tear to your eye (it did to mine). A bit of a long read if you have the time, but an unbelieveable story.

The Girl in the Window (http://www.tampabay.com/features/humaninterest/article750838.ece)

http://www.tampabay.com/multimedia/archive/00032/girl-type-300_32627a.jpg

http://www.tampabay.com/multimedia/archive/00032/0421512495_1_32639d.jpeg http://www.tampabay.com/multimedia/archive/00032/FLO_danielle080308l_32600c.jpeg

"Is she okay?

Danielle is better than anyone dared hope. She has learned to look at people and let herself be held. She can chew ham. She can swim. She’s tall and blond and has a little belly. She knows her name is Dani.

In her new room, she has a window she can look out of. When she wants to see outside, all she has to do is raise her arms and her dad is right behind her, waiting to pick her up."

All I can say is, Amen! :thumb:

jordacr
08.06.08, 08:17 AM
That is horrible. I am glad she is now with someone who truly cares for her.

VanHalenRules
08.06.08, 08:23 AM
A truly horrible and yet very touching story. You have to have a licence to drive a car, but they'll let any ass have a child.:irked:

Ace Ventura
08.06.08, 09:28 AM
How anyone could do that to a child is just beyond me. I am happy that she's with such a loving family and doing better. I hope God holds her in the palms of his hands....

loveevhsince79
08.06.08, 10:16 AM
What is even more horrible, the mother basically walked away with no punishment at all. To get custody, they plea bargained and she got out of the 20 yrs reduced to 2 yrs probation and community service then "tripped" on a box at Walmart and the community service was suspended. Un-fucking-believable!!!

OLO
08.06.08, 05:36 PM
I just do not know what to say.

Tropical Storm Tracey
08.06.08, 05:56 PM
That is one of the most horrible things I have ever read. My heart just goes out to her and her adopted family. Thank God for them or that girl might never have had any kind of life at all.

TST<------------there is a special place in heaven for people like them----and a special place in hell for the others--------

OLO
08.06.08, 06:01 PM
That is one of the most horrible things I have ever read. My heart just goes out to her and her adopted family. Thank God for them or that girl might never have had any kind of life at all.

TST<------------there is a special place in heaven for people like them----and a special place in hell for the others--------

The new family is AMAZING!!!

Tropical Storm Tracey
08.06.08, 06:04 PM
I agree, especially her brother. What a great kid and all he's sacrificed for her. I feel bad for him but what a great example of an unselfish child who hopefully will turn out to be a fantastic adult. Big kudos to him. :thumb:

TST<----------hope our kids turn out that well-------

Menlow
08.06.08, 06:09 PM
What is even more horrible, the mother basically walked away with no punishment at all. To get custody, they plea bargained and she got out of the 20 yrs reduced to 2 yrs probation and community service then "tripped" on a box at Walmart and the community service was suspended. Un-fucking-believable!!!

Disgusting.

How can that woman not be in jail?

billy007
08.06.08, 06:33 PM
What is even more horrible, the mother basically walked away with no punishment at all. To get custody, they plea bargained and she got out of the 20 yrs reduced to 2 yrs probation and community service then "tripped" on a box at Walmart and the community service was suspended. Un-fucking-believable!!!

Why couldn't the "mother" "trip" and fall down a long flight of stairs like Father Karras in "The Exorcist".

Hope they are able to help this girl find ways to catch up. I'd like to think that living normal for awhile her instincts will one day start to kick in, but really, who knows what is instinctive or not?

OLO
08.06.08, 06:44 PM
Why couldn't the "mother" "trip" and fall down a long flight of stairs like Father Karras in "The Exorcist".

Hope they are able to help this girl find ways to catch up. I'd like to think that living normal for awhile her instincts will one day start to kick in, but really, who knows what is instinctive or not?

I was thinking the same thing. Maybe in time her instincts will just kick in, I would like to hope so.

ZachenFoot
08.06.08, 07:29 PM
This story made my heart sink. That family who took in that poor girl have to be some of the most unbelievable parents I've ever witnessed, even though I just read about them.

That story is phenomenal. How some stupid bitch can put a poor little girl through so much pain and horror, and for her to be on a road to recovery. Even if her instincts never totally come back, she's better than she was before.

Thanks for this. Totally uplifting, definitely tear-jerking at times :thumb:

Yesterdays
08.06.08, 11:56 PM
What a moving story. The brother is extremely special as well. I have to think good parenting is the reason. If instinct doesn't kick in, perhaps Dani will learn by example, at least to talk and laugh.

onefootoutthedoor
08.07.08, 01:36 AM
I can honestly say that nothing that I have read here has brought me to tears. Until now. This is heart breaking in the worst way imaginable. Truly disgusting on all levels. I cannot believe tis happened to a poor little girl.

OLO
08.07.08, 06:43 PM
I can honestly say that nothing that I have read here has brought me to tears. Until now. This is heart breaking in the worst way imaginable. Truly disgusting on all levels. I cannot believe tis happened to a poor little girl.

This story stuck with me all last night, I found myself seeing Dani's face today as I was driving around. Couldn't help but say a prayer for each time she would pop into my mind.

VH Wahoo
07.22.10, 10:13 AM
Bravo! :thumb:

Lane DeGregory (Col ’89) wins a Pulitzer Prize for her article about a feral child (http://uvamagazine.org/only_online/article/lane_degregory_col_89_wins_a_pulitzer_prize_for_he r_article_about_a_feral_c/)

by Aja Gabel (Grad '09)

On the first day of her first semester, Lane DeGregory walked into the the Cavalier Daily’s offices, intent on reporting for the newspaper, and spent the next four years working her way up to editor. “That, to me, was the best time of journalism ever. Being on the Lawn with all the other student leaders was a highlight. It’s hard for the Pulitzer even to top that time.”

Danielle, age 7, the ‘feral child’, in the hospital after being found by law enforcement officials. DeGregory won a Pulitzer Prize for her St. Petersburg Times feature story, “The Girl in the Window.” The story, published in July 2008, was a collaborative effort between DeGregory and photographer Melissa Lyttle. “It started out as a nice adoption story,” DeGregory said. “But the more people kept saying ‘feral,’ and the more we started researching how rare that was, the whole thing elevated.”

“The Girl in the Window” tracks the horrific discovery of a “feral child” in a Plant City, Fla., home, and the child’s eventual adoption and development. When she was discovered by law enforcement officials, 7-year-old Danielle was malnourished and lived in a closet full of insects and her own dirty diapers. She could not speak, let alone interact. She had been denied basic human nurturing, and was deemed feral.

DeGregory worked on the story for six months, running the gamut of emotions. “Emotionally, it was the hardest story I’ve ever worked on. I’m a mother and my youngest son is about Dani’s age, and I had to ask myself, what kind of mother could do that to her kid? And then, here I am, feeling guilty for not making baseball practice.”

As DeGregory pondered the notion of “doing the best I can as a parent,” she found herself in front of Danielle’s biological mother’s trailer. Interviews with Michelle, Danielle’s mother, form a particularly compelling section of “The Girl in the Window,” in which DeGregory attempts to answer some of the questions about what sort of woman could neglect her child to a dangerous and damaging extent.

“At first, I did not want to talk to that woman,” DeGregory says. But when she walked up to Michelle’s trailer and asked to talk to her about her daughter, “her eyes got real big and she said, ‘Nobody’s ever asked me for my side of the story.’ I decided to sit there and listen and suspend judgment.”

This kind of reporting typifies DeGregory’s work, which focuses on people in the shadows. While she continues to write less extensive pieces for the newspaper, her next big feature will chronicle a love triangle among street youths that came to a tragic end.

DeGregory, who previously worked as a writer for The Virginian-Pilot, spent years chasing ambulances and churning out items about breaking stories. She says it takes a different strategy to write human interest pieces. “You have to be willing to tailor your life around the world that you’re covering,” she says. “People’s lives don’t happen nine to five.”

Getting to the core of “The Girl in the Window” required a similar level of commitment. DeGregory spent significant time with Danielle’s adoptive family. “We got to watch her evolve, be potty trained, learn to feed herself,” she says. Adding that it was tough to write a story in which “the main character is completely inaccessible.”

DeGregory’s hard work paid off in a way most newspaper writers only dream of. The Pulitzer Prize announcement came as a complete surprise to DeGregory, who had been told her nomination had not made the final round. She was at home in Gulfport, Fla., working to make a deadline. The murder at the center of the love triangle story she is currently working on had happened that day, and she went home to work on the story, ignoring the ringing phone. When her editor drove to her house in the early evening, she was sure she was in trouble for missing her deadline. The news he delivered was much more welcome.

“I had to sit down on a chair on my deck,” she says. “I just started laughing and crying.”

When asked if the Pulitzer changed her day-to-day life, DeGregory laughs and says, “I’m still writing daily stories about things like the crossing guard of the year. But I feel fortunate to have a job that lets me tell people stories and do what I love.”

Danielle and her adoptive family, the Lierows, have moved on, appearing on Oprah and relocating to Tennessee. But DeGregory has tucked her prize away and remains at the St. Petersburg Times, searching out stories and just as headstrong as she was when she first walked into the Cavalier Daily offices back in 1985.

“Newspaper journalists are charged with giving context and depth a little more,” DeGregory says of the value of her work. “The intense human interest stories that make us feel and access the world in the different way, those are the important ones.”

http://uvamagazine.org/images/uploads/2010/summer/dani1.jpg http://uvamagazine.org/images/uploads/2010/summer/dani2.jpg

voivod
07.22.10, 11:04 AM
An Update on Dani...
We moved to a farm over the summer and with that came the introduction of Dani's new "Therapy Pony". She has been learning how to love and care for her new pony and as you can see, she enjoys it very much. Now she isn't afraid of touching the big horses at theraputic horseback riding. The pony's name is Hope and she is 12 years old.

Dani started back to school at the beginning of August, and is doing Pre-K work such as tracing her letters.

http://www.danisstory.org/