A Beloved Teen Gives the Gift of Sight

Danielle Quarles Reese| Tissue Donor

Danielle Quarles Reese
August 31, 1993 – February 25, 2007

“Dani was the love of my life and brought so much joyLifeNet Health saved my life.”– Donnetta Quarles Reese, Dani’s mother.

Dani Reese was an eighth grade Girl Scout and aspiring actor with dreams of making it big in show business. Even more, Dani was a beloved daughter to her parents.

One day, after hearing a thump in the kitchen, her mother Donnetta walked in to find Dani on the floor. She performed CPR on her daughter until paramedics arrived. Following visits from countless friends and family in the hospital, Dani passed away at 13 years old from what was believed to be a pulmonary embolism.

“Leaving the hospital without my daughter was the longest drive home,” Donnetta said of the shocking experience. “Dani was the love of my life and brought so much joy.”

After talking it over with her husband Mike, Donnetta ensured that her daughter would be a tissue donor. Through the donation process, Dani was able to give the gift of sight to not one, but two individuals in her home state of Virginia.

Tragically, Donnetta also lost her husband to a stroke 10 years after Dani’s passing. Despite her personal hardships, Donnetta has become a vital part of the LifeNet Health family in recent years, remaining active on the Donor Family Advisory Committee, attending annual “In Celebration and Remembrances” events, taking part in workshops, leading discussions on donor family Facebook groups, and in other roles as needed.

It is difficult to imagine the loss that Donnetta Reese has endured in the last two decades. However, the way she has and continues to channel that pain into positivity and support for others is nothing short of inspiring.