8/20/18, Bea, an Amazing girl!!!!

Hi Everyone,


Well, here we are, the last week in August, Labor Day is just around the corner, and we have ‘done’ the summer. It has whizzed past us, I hope you had lots of fun, some time off and vacation, and I hope you’ll look back on this summer with a smile. And now we have all the excitement of the fall to look forward to, and our winter plans and projects, in some cases moving at high speed after the summer. I am definitely back at work, and working on new books.


I wanted to bring you up to date on something I have mentioned to you before, that happened in my family two years ago. My nephew’s daughter Bea, my great niece, was 17 years old then, a beautiful, happy normal high school girl. She grew up in France, her father is French, her mother American, and they had just moved to Brussels, Belgium from Paris a few months before. Her passion was, and is horseback riding, her dream was to ride in the Olympics. And her great love was, and is, her beloved white horse Deedee. She has two older brothers, lots of friends, and lots of dogs. A very normal high school girl. And in March of 2016, her whole world changed. The family went to Florida for Spring vacation, she stayed back a day, and set out to join them in Florida a day later. She went to the Brussels airport for her flight, and Fate intervened in a very major way. It was the morning that terrorists blew up the Brussels Airport, right as Bea was in line to check in. We know now that she was standing roughly 3 or 4 feet from one of the bombs when it exploded, and was one of very few survivors in the terminal. It is a total miracle that she survived at all. Seven months in the hospital of fighting for her life, dozens of surgeries ensued. Hundreds of people were killed and injured. She was in a military hospital along with the other survivors, because the wounds inflicted were so extreme that they were only comparable to wartime military injuries, not civilian ones. She was burned over much of her body, was paralyzed in the days and months after the explosion, her body was full of shrapnel, pieces of metal in the bomb designed to do the most damage possible to a human body, and she lost both legs. It’s the kind of horrifying event you read about in a newspaper, but doesn’t happen to anyone you know. But it did, to this very wonderful 17 year old girl. And the future looked dark indeed for a while.


We don’t have any idea how any of us would respond to catastrophic events in our lives. Something like that is beyond imagining. She was in a medically induced coma for a while, to alleviate her suffering. And what not only survived but flourished and grew to incredible proportions was her extraordinary spirit, her strength and determination, not only to survive, but to have an amazing life in future anyway. She has a family who adores her, and a remarkable mother who exhibited strength and courage that kept Bea fighting for her life at the darkest times—and fighting for the quality of her life.


One of the most touching moments in her early recovery was when she was finally well enough to sit in a wheel chair and be rolled outside for some air. Her horse trainer had arranged with Bea’s mother and the hospital to bring Bea’s beloved horse Deedee to visit her. The video of it reduced me to sobs, and still does. Bea was sitting in her wheel chair, not expecting a visit, as Deedee was led out of the trailer, was instantly alert, and literally raced across the parking lot to where Bea was sitting, found her, licked her face adoringly, and then rested her head on Bea’s shoulder. It was pure love between those two. It was a turning point for Bea in her recovery. A day or two later, she was cautiously lifted into the saddle on Deedee, and held there so she wouldn’t lose her balance and fall, and thus began the next chapters of Bea’s life, with courage, love and hope, and a fierce determination not to be beaten or destroyed by what had happened.


Fast forward the long arduous film of what came after: 7 months after the attack she left the hospital, and went back to school for her last year—-she was greeted at school by a standing ovation by the entire school. People around the world, who didn’t even know her, had been praying for her. In June, 15 months after the attack, she graduated, and walked across the stage in braces to accept her diploma. She went to rehab at a Naval Facility in San Diego and is still there. Next month, she will start college. And for many months now, she has been training for the next Paralympics in Tokyo. Three countries invited her to ride for them. They first contacted her after someone had seen the first meeting with Deedee at the hospital. She is hard at work now training for the Paralympics, and getting ready for college. Her determination, and extraordinary spirit are astounding—-how can any of us complain about the problems and disappointments and minor inconveniences in our lives when you see someone like her, determined, strong, never lagging, never giving up, absolutely passionately determined to have an amazing life, and not be robbed of her youth and spirit and courage about life. After college, she wants to start a company for sports equipment adapted for people with physical impairments. She has feeling in her legs and back now, and her hope is to continue to improve. She has worked incredibly hard in the most grueling way at her recovery, and is continuing to do so.


Bea is a remarkable girl. Extraordinary, remarkable, incredible, courageous, amazing, don’t even begin to describe her. And her remarkable mother has fought alongside her every inch of the way. Her whole family cheers her on. I am stunned by her courage and spirit. It’s breathtaking.


What she has done and is continuing to do is an inspiration to anyone who knows her or hears about her. She didn’t quit, she didn’t give up, she didn’t complain about her losses, she held on tight and celebrated what she did have, and reached out toward all the good things and good times and victories that lay ahead. Her whole life is a victory, a shining example to others, an inspiration to us all. She is the best of what a human being can be faced with incredible challenges, and she has met them all.


I am in awe of this brave nineteen year old girl who has faced the unthinkable and is turning it into a victory every single day. And this is only the beginning of what I know will be a shining life that will continue to dazzle and inspire us all.


Have a great week!!!


love, Danielle



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30 Comments so far
  1. Camille August 20, 2018 6:42 pm

    Very INSPIRING story ….just as the title of one of your book: “MIRACLE”.


  2. Rob Scott August 22, 2018 6:00 am

    I remember the original post re compassion.

    Thanks for sharing this wonderful update, Danielle.

    “…with courage, love and hope, and a fierce determination not to be beaten or destroyed by what had happened.”


    Rob Scott
    ABQ, NM

  3. Deede August 23, 2018 2:21 pm

    And not a dry eye read it…What a wonderful tribute to this remarkable young woman and her love for a horse named Deedee…Of course I wish her only the best and she will succeed…Definitly, she will…The angels have willed it…
    Thank you for sharing and making me wet smile through the entire piece!

  4. Camille August 24, 2018 10:24 am

    “Stranded Toddler Finds Help for Himself and Baby Brother After Their Mother Is Killed in Car Wreck” (source:https://people.com/human-interest/toddlers-survive-car-accident-killed-mother/)
    This story is not exactly like Bea ‘s one but have a common thrill “MIRACLE+HERO”…


  5. Joy August 30, 2018 1:38 am

    Dear Danielle,
    Thank you for writing about your niece again, with an update!! Her story continues to inspire and encourage many others to not give up, when bad things happen.
    In Canada, we had a tragedy months ago, where a hockey team, the Broncos, travelling to a game were t-boned by a truck. About half out of 29 died that winter day. But, the survivors are #HumboldtStrong, and are all finding or fighting to recover from the accident.
    A few of them remind me of your niece. They’re going through rehab now, fighting for every inch of strength back!! They are warriors!!!

    And while we encourage them in every way we can, it is them who teach us what’s important in life.????


  6. Lorraine September 8, 2018 6:23 am


    I’m so glad to hear that this courageous young woman is winning the battle she was handed. This is just beyond belief and beyond tragic what this lovely girl had to endure. It was humbling reading this story. The part about her horse seeing her after this occurred was amazing. I hope she continues to thrive in her life and that she knows only peace and joy in all her days ahead. Love, Lorraine

  7. Sharon September 17, 2018 5:48 pm

    In sharing this you have helped inspire many people when they need it most. I am in awe of Bea. A shining example of the human spirit.

  8. Eileen September 20, 2018 9:50 am

    Wow, she is truly amazing!

  9. Susanne Casey September 20, 2018 10:47 am

    Such an inspirational story I wish Bea all the love and luck in the world and can’t wait to see her in the Paralympics. Thank you Bea for all yours plans to help people in the future such an amazing thing to do.Love from Susanne ❤❤

  10. Christina Christodoulou September 20, 2018 11:26 am

    I am overwhelmed reading about this amazing young lady….so courageous
    Wishing her a bright and wonderful future full of success,health and happiness.
    Thank you for sharing this personal tragedy Danielle.
    Lots of love
    Christina xx??

  11. Lynn Keyser September 20, 2018 11:30 am

    What an amazing young woman.
    God Bless her on her continued recovery and her future endeavors.

  12. Robin Bagent September 20, 2018 12:27 pm

    Powerful. Thank you for sharing.

  13. Gabriele Green September 20, 2018 1:09 pm

    Hi Danielle,
    Just want to say what an amazing story this is.
    Ur niece is such a brave girl to go through all these surgeries and rehab and now tryouts for the Paralympic . WOW WHAT A GREAT GIRL

  14. Louisa Lee September 20, 2018 2:50 pm


  15. Arlene September 20, 2018 3:36 pm

    She is an amazing young woman. What a wonderful roll model !!!! ?

  16. Stacie September 21, 2018 1:17 am


  17. Mary Gilkes September 21, 2018 7:09 am

    What a beautiful example of the human spirit. She is an inspiration to so many of what she endured and overcame. I am in total awe of her and it makes my challenges seem so small and petty in comparison. I pray that her life will continue in only the best of ways!

  18. Yvonne September 21, 2018 12:44 pm

    What an inspiring story and brave, awesome young lady. Her faith and fortitude is unbelievable. God bless her and her mother.

  19. Betty September 21, 2018 1:46 pm

    Thank you for sharing Bea’s recover what an inspiring young lady, I am from Australia and only just come across your books in our local library , what I have heard on audio book has given me so much pleasure, look for ward to what will come next ,
    Thank you again and God bless you and yours.

  20. Tracy September 23, 2018 7:26 pm

    Very inspiring….. What a strong beautiful young lady. Thank you for sharing her story.

  21. Jenny Caldwell September 27, 2018 10:40 am

    This is a remarkable story! I will go forward in this day with gratitude. Thank you!

  22. Gail Stewardson October 4, 2018 12:52 pm

    just a heartbreaking story, very strong & brave lady.
    i read when you first posted about what had happened and glad you have updated us. wishing her all the best in her recovery

  23. Gail Stewardson October 4, 2018 12:53 pm

    just a heartbreaking story, very strong & brave lady.
    i read when you first posted about what had happened and glad you have updated us. wishing her all the best in her recovery.

    Gail Stewardson

  24. Debbie Sigler October 4, 2018 6:28 pm

    Truly amazing. She is an inspiration to us all. Thank you for sharing her story with us. This sure sounds like a Danielle Steel novel?

  25. Cathie Stevens October 16, 2018 4:49 pm

    So sad. Very touching. What a wonderful girl. I wish her the best and will continue to pray for her. And I love your books. I have read every one of them. Thank you.

  26. Lori Parent October 19, 2018 7:58 am

    Such a beautiful woman she was and is. Her bravery, recovery and will too live has and will make thousands of people too not only face their difficulties in their lives, but too overcome them. God Bless your Great Niece, her family, friends and her beloved horse Deedee for being by her side. Thank you for sharing her story.

  27. Jocelyne October 21, 2018 1:14 pm

    My wish for Bea is to keep going no matter what. You can do it, Bea.
    I myself don’t understand why people would do these things, or try to ruin and destroy another person. I was told people makes mistakes, but if it is a deliberate act, that’s not a mistake..It’s malicious and vindictive. I leave everything in God’s hand, and he will deal with it.

  28. sarojini October 29, 2018 1:54 am

    Awesome article.we should love our life and enjoying it spread its vibration to the whole world.

  29. Sandra. Williams November 13, 2018 8:53 pm

    I feel so wonderful for her And she did what she had to do .God wasn’t looking for her yet.God bless.

  30. Carole ser December 10, 2018 12:58 pm

    This is a miracle omg! God bless her to all her dreams come true!❤️?