Harrison County

‘My life will never be the same,’ says woman struck by car at mall entrance

Gulfport woman survives life-threatening injuries

Danielle Weir begins long road of recovery from devastating accident.
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Danielle Weir begins long road of recovery from devastating accident.

Danielle Weir woke up in a hospital May 27 and was told she had been struck by a car four days earlier in Biloxi and suffered life-altering injuries.

She had walked out of Books-A-Million at Edgewater Mall on May 23 when a car hit a white pillar at the mall’s south entrance and then struck her.

A May 23 story in the Sun Herald about the incident noted that Weir had a broken hip. It was much more than that.

Her pelvis, broken from hip to hip, was shattered. Her left knee was shattered and several vertebrae in her back were dislocated, resulting in spine problems.

After hospitalizations, three surgeries and rehab, Weir has been home a week with her family at their residence in Gulfport’s Orange Grove area. She faces more surgeries.

Weir, 44, is bedridden. She is in a hospital bed wedged against her living room window and also has a view of a TV.

“All I do is cry,” she said. “I look out the window on one side and wish I could walk, and I look over at the TV.”

“My life will never be the same. They say it will be years before I am better.”

A halo brace immobilizes her left knee, which will have more surgeries later. She can’t put weight on her right leg until her pelvis heals.

I know if God hadn’t wrapped his arms around me, I could have died that day.

Danielle Weir

“An orthopedic surgeon told us her knee looks like a bomb went off inside of it,” said her husband, Eddie Weir.

Her husband walked over and kissed her on the cheek Monday as she wept while telling what her life was like before the accident and what it is like now.

“He is my rock,” she said of her husband, a college student and longtime sports volunteer who helps coach the Pass Christian High School football team.

Danielle Weir, a homemaker, has three children ages 19 to 29, and a stepchild, her husband’s 5-year-old son.

She had a life-changing experience last September, when she underwent gastric bypass surgery.

“I was weighing in at 407 pounds,” she said. “I couldn’t function with my kids. It was one of the best things I’d ever done.”

“I’m now under 240 pounds, and had gotten to where I could run, I could play, I could drive. I was walking. Going to the zoo. Playing on the beach. Playing football.”

The day of the crash, she and her husband had gone to Books-A-Million because he wanted to buy a football magazine.

He told her to pay for the magazine while he walked to the other side of the mall to drive their car around front.

“I was walking out of Books-A-Million and turned right on the sidewalk ... and that’s all I remember,” she said. “I’d just barely taken two steps out the door.”

‘I could have died’

Danielle Weir lost four days. When she woke up, she learned she’d had two blood transfusions and had serious injuries. She was taken from Memorial Hospital at Gulfport to the University of South Alabama Medical Center, was brought back to Gulfport and spent a week at a rehab center.

“I know if God hadn’t wrapped his arms around me, I could have died that day,” she said.

“My faith keeps me strong because I beautiful children and a very loving husband who is my rock.”

Weiss said she is in constant pain and feels the only life she has is being in bed at home.

“I can’t go any where,” she said.

American Medical Response provides an ambulance to take her to and from doctor’s appointments. That’s the only time she leaves her house.

One good thing that has come from the crash, she said, is the situation has drawn her family and friends even closer together.

She doesn’t know the driver’s name

Weir said all she knows about the incident is the man who hit her is in his 40s and was driving a 2000 Lincoln Town Car. Police at the time said the man claimed his car suddenly accelerated.

“I don’t even know his name,” she said. “But I forgive him.”

Weiss said she has spoken to an attorney, but doesn’t know if a lawsuit will be filed.

Her husband, a junior at the University of Southern Mississippi, is taking online classes for the fall semester so he can be home with his wife.

“I’m very stubborn,” Danielle Weir said. “Very stubborn. It is so hard for me to let people do for me because I want to do for myself.”

GoFundMe account set up

A GoFundMe account was set up to help with medical expenses, but the family has other needs since Medicaid is covering most of her medical expenses. The account also was set up when it was first believed that the driver who hit her could have been impaired.

The account is in the name of Danielle Weir Medical Expenses. The initial goal was to raise $5,000. A total of $270 had been raised as of Monday afternoon.

“We can’t thank people enough for their kind words, their concern and their prayers,” Eddie Weir said.

Danielle Weir said she believes she will be healed one day.

“I have faith that God will make it happen,” she said.

Robin Fitzgerald: 228-896-2307, @robincrimenews