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Special girl gets tour of Green Cove Springs Police Department

By Kylie Cordell
Posted 2/9/23

GREEN COVE SPRINGS – The police department was pleasantly surprised when communications Officer Brandi Acres mentioned seven-year-old Dani-Lynn was going to visit her friends at the station.

The …

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Special girl gets tour of Green Cove Springs Police Department


GREEN COVE SPRINGS – The police department was pleasantly surprised when communications Officer Brandi Acres mentioned seven-year-old Dani-Lynn was going to visit her friends at the station.

The department welcomed Dani-Lynn with a new stuffed animal and lots of hugs.

“She just brings joy to the officers. It’s a hometown feeling and they love the whole family,” Acres said.

Dani-Lynn and her two older sisters are no strangers to the GCSPD.

“I’ve seen Dani-Lynn on and off from (her mother) Amelia bringing the kids with her,” Acres said.

“They are always visiting us during the Holidays, during Trunk or Treat. They recently brought us pizza for National Thank a Police Officer Day in January. They are very involved in the community.”

The family has donated to the Green Cove Springs Food Pantry for the past seven years. They also take toiletries and other supplies to the Ronald McDonald House in Gainsville and donate toys to the local heart clinic.

Sporting bedazzled Crocs and a broad smile, you wouldn’t know that Dani-Lynn was born with three congenital heart defects; HLHS, VSD, and a PAPVR repair, or that she has undergone two major heart surgeries and many hospitalizations.

“She has half of a heart, a hole in her heart, and poor left lung function,” said her mother, Amelia Early.

However, her condition didn’t stop Dani-Lynn from taking a personal tour of the GCSPD and sharing a plate of cheesy nachos with her favorite communications officer at a local diner.

“She always has a smile on her face. She’s never met a stranger and loves life,” Early said. Dani-Lynn loves her sisters, misses her teachers and friends, and has a big heart for helping others. She dreams of being a heart doctor when she grows up.

Currently, there is no cure for her heart disease.

A day after she visited the GCSPD, Dani-Lynn was admitted to Shands Childrens Hospital in Gainsville. “Amelia got the call to go to the hospital to admit her to the Cardiac unit,” Brandi said. Dani-Lynn was having chest pains. Her stomach was swollen. “They said she was going into heart failure.”

Dani-Lynn has no discharge date. Due to her high antibody count, she does not qualify for a heart transplant. Doctors say she would reject it immediately.

“She has a 90% chance of rejecting a new heart,” Early noted.

Dani-Lynn’s family is doing their best to let her live the best life she can for what little time they have left with her. However, they hold tight to their faith and pray for a miracle for Dani-Lynn.

“There are a few other experimental drugs. There’s a chemo-like drug therapy called IVIG transfusion. It’s a long and slow process. The IVIG drug therapy, per infusion, costs thousands of dollars,” Early said, adding that the drug could possibly make Dani-Lynn’s condition worse.

If the IVIG drug therapy shows little to no results, they could attempt a plasma replacement treatment, but it’s a very aggressive treatment and would require Dani-Lynn to live at the hospital.

“And these treatments are all to lower her antibody levels/rejection rate so she can qualify for a heart transplant,” Early said.

There are more than 2,000 children currently waiting for a heart. Unfortunately, there are fewer donor organs available than there are people waiting. Waitlist times for transplantation vary depending on a patient’s weight, blood type, and waiting status.

“As it stands right now, Dani-Lynn has a very likely chance of dying while waiting on a treatment that may or may not work,” her mother said.

Despite the odds being stacked against her, the medical team is doing its best to give Dani-Lynn the best quality of life before she is gone. It has been an emotional journey for the whole family.

“My girls understand that sometimes they don’t get to go to sleepovers or birthday parties because their baby sister is sick,” Early said.

Dani-Lynns mother currently drives three hours to the hospital every day after work. She drives to Gainsville to spend as much time with her daughter, and then she drives back with barely enough time to make the route back to work. On top of caring for Dani-Lynn, she is also trying to get through college and purchase a home for her three daughters.

She wants to get her medical management degree to help families like hers.

If you want to support Dani Lynn and her family, you can donate to their GoFundMe, “Support for Dani-Lynn’s Family.” No donation is too small.

You can also find a wishlist on Amazon called “Wishlist for Dani-Lynn and her sisters.” If you cannot donate, the family asks that you keep them in your prayers.

To learn more about pediatric organ donation, visit “Children’s Health: Organ Donation Facts” online.

“Please pray for a miracle, so we don’t have to say goodbye to our Dani-Lynn,” Ealy said.