Karolina Ł. (Poland)
I was on the student exchange in Prague when I met Dani…
I found her note in the dormitory where I was staying (Kolej Hostivar). It was written in Slovak so I wasn’t sure if I understood it correctly but Polish is quite similar so I thought someone was looking for assistance. I used to do volunteer work in Poland so I spontaneously wrote an e-mail to Dani in English. After few days I got response. Daniela was living in dormitory which was very close to mine and she wanted to meet. I was surprised , I didn’t even know if she would answer my e-mail, so I decided to meet her. And it was one of the best decisions in my life!!
Thanks to Dani I learned many things about other people and about myself. I became more patient and tolerant. I realized that everything is possible and every time I think I’ve got a problem I think about Dani who showed me how she can live her life no matter how many barriers she had to deal with every day..
I am a physiotherapist, when I met Dani I was a student so meeting her learned me a lot about the disabled. I met many people on wheelchairs but I never met someone like Daniela before. She was like a porcelain, so fragile but so tough inside…
She wanted to look nice, wear nice clothes, put on a little make up.. No, she didn’t complain or wrinkle her nose, she just had the same needs like every woman should have.She was so tolerant, she had many different assistants – quiet and crazy, students of art, gender or physiotherapy, some had tattoos, some like rock music, some were priests. And she was able to listen to all of them and treat them like her friends and they all enjoyed spending time with Dani.
When I was Dani assistant at the beginning I was coming for few hours a week, after a while I started spending more time with her. I stayed for nights – I was sleeping in the other room and she was calling my cell phone if she needed something. I was doing some exercise with Dani, preparing food for us. I realize that it wasn’t a problem if I were a tiny girl or a tough man, everyone was able to help Dani. If she wanted to move from bed to wheelchair or different room I was using a special lift which Dani had – it was another experience for me as a physiotherapist, I had never seen such lift before. We were going out to some cool place together. Once we went to watch her friends (actors) on the stage, another time was wine and Erasmus students concert. I think we had fun together.
When I finished my semester I had to go back to Poland. I am still in touch with Dani, we spent one crazy New Year’s Eve in Slovakia’s mountains and hope we will be friends.. forever!“