The indomitable Daniel

Daniel Hannapel has really been through a lot in his extremely first twenty years of life.

He’s had 3 heart-related surgical treatments linked to an unusual condition described as Marfan syndrome.

The condition has really prevented him from participating in a variety of the sports he had really wanted to enjoy, nevertheless it hasn’t changed his beneficial outlook—nor has it jeopardized his desire to go back to people who have really helped him along the approach.

Marfan syndrome is an unusual connective tissue condition that affects about 20,000 people each year in the U.S., mentioned Jason Slaikeu, MD, RPVI, a Spectrum Health vascular surgeon.

It affects the stability of connective tissues that typically support the body’s important organs and structures.

Marfan syndrome can be hereditary, although in Daniel’s case it emerged from an unusual, random abnormality, according to doctors. Daniel may still pass the incurable health problem on to his future kids.

Indications of Marfan syndrome may vary from private to private, nevertheless the most serious unfavorable impacts of the health problem can affect capillary in the heart and trigger weakened arteries.

People spotted with Marfan syndrome are often taller and thin, with long arms, legs, fingers and toes.

Daniel, 20, a sophomore at the University of Michigan, has a few of those basic qualities.

Physicians at first spotted him with the condition in 2013, at age 12, when he went to the health care center for a dislocated shoulder.

They also discovered a heart shivering.

In 2015 he underwent his extremely first surgical treatment, a heart valve repair. The operation wasn’t easy, as doctors required to surgically break 12 of his ribs and restore his breast bone.

Almost one year to the day, in 2016, Daniel collapsed with what ended up being an undiagnosed stomach aortic aneurysm.

Dr. Slaikeu was the surgeon on call that day who performed the emergency scenario surgical treatment when Daniel’s aneurysm burst. This experience produced a unique relationship in between doctor and customer.

High hopes

Daniel went various more years without any substantial occasions.

In January 2021, nonetheless, he went through a 3rd heart surgical treatment, this time at a medical center outside Michigan.

Dr. Slaikeu telephoned Daniel on the night of surgical treatment to analyze him.

“Throughout the whole recovery treatment, Dr. Slaikeu called me every day to check out me,” Daniel mentioned. “I valued the time he got of his chaotic day to see how I was doing. He is an amazing doctor and surgeon and his bedside method is excellent.”

The doctor has really returned the love in kind.

“I’ve been so pleased with him and his family given that I’ve comprehended them,” Dr. Slaikeu mentioned. “He is an astounding young boy—resilient, caring individual. And he’s also smart, passionate and extremely customized.”

Daniel’s medical diagnosis throughout his teen years came as a blow, for as a young kid he had high hopes in participating in contact sports. He was a natural expert athlete and his world was sports.

Nevertheless rather of letting Marfan syndrome identify his course, he found satisfaction in activities that utilized great deals of troubles and advantages—activities that revealed less challenging on his heart.

At Thornapple Kellogg High School in Middleville, near Grand Rapids, he played golf and sang in the honors choir. He devoted mindful concentration to his research study studies and ultimately ended up in the Leading 10 of his class.

Now at the University of Michigan, he has really developed an intramural golf club. He’s related to the people’s glee club, which performs nationally and internationally.

Most significantly, he remains ever grateful for the help he received from friends, family and the community.

And he wants to pass along the goodness.

As a pre-dental student, he’s tutoring main kids in Ann Arbor through his fraternity. Daniel is also related to a hospice program started throughout the pandemic.

He feels he can still do more.

He’d like to establish a business to help kids with heart issues.

“I stay in a unique position to help guide pediatric customers experiencing heart issues,” Daniel mentioned. “I’ve existed and I comprehend what they are feeling. I comprehend how frightening it can be.”


At a young age, Daniel discovered more about the significance of helping others. He follows in the actions of his mother and fathers, Beth and Eric Hannapel, both orthodontists who have really instilled in their 4 kids the significance of returning.

Eric volunteers at the Spectrum Health Helen DeVos Kid’s Medical center oral cleft taste program in Grand Rapids. He’s part of a group of doctors and oral experts who develop treatment programs that often consist of jaw surgical treatment, bone grafts and other substantial treatments. Beth is also considerably related to social work.

The Hannapels’ method for their kids: “Select an occupation you enjoy, aim at it and after that make providing a part of your life.”

Daniel has really taken it to heart.

And he comprehends that, to help others, he requires to also take note of his own health.

There’s no treatment for Marfan syndrome, nevertheless the goal is to avoid future heart problems by approach of regular tests and screening.

In The Middle Of all of it, Daniel has really found to succeed.

“Marfan has various physical limitations that are offered in varying strength, nevertheless as I’ve gotten older, I’ve found that the mental aspect has really been more hard,” Daniel mentioned. “Prior to I was spotted, I was a regular teenager enjoying life in my carefree world which all changed.”

And now?

“I’ve produced a beneficial state of mind through the help of my friends, mother and fathers, brother, extraordinary doctors such as Dr. Slaikeu and the entire community.”