Have you ever heard the saying, "What you don't know can fill a warehouse?" It's funny the amount of information about celebrities that we DON'T know. In this day ant time of TMZ, wikipedia, and the like, its ahrd not to know every and anything about our favorite celebs past and present. But did you guys know that 'Dee' Danielle Spencer from 'What's Happening' fame was recently paralyzed and contemplated suicide?
Let's go back to 1977. The whole 1st season of 'What's Happening' the precocious young, Danielle Spencer acted while in pain from a horrific car accident that killed her step-father, put her in a coma for three weeks and left her with a broken pelvis, leg and arm.
“I was gone from the show for about six months,” says Danielle Spencer, speaking to EURweb exclusively. “They stopped taping the show for about a month and I just healed pretty quickly. Basically I had the summer to heal and I came back for the second season.”
The Jersey-born actress said she continued filming “What’s Happening!” until the show was cancelled in 1979, then, went on to high school and finished college without any lingering ailments from the accident.
Then in 2003 – 26 years after the Sept. 7, 1977 car crash – she suddenly felt a tingling in her leg.
“That’s when I knew something was definitely wrong,” she says. “I went from walking, to [being] in a wheelchair by the end of the week.”
Turns out a disc in her back from the 1977 accident had calcified through the decades and was pressing against her nerve. She was informed by her doctor that she would never walk again unless she has an operation to remove the disc.
“Of course after the surgery, I was paralyzed for about eight months. I found that the physical therapy wasn’t helping me at all and I was just getting so frustrated – to the point that I had even thought about suicide,” says Danielle. “This was about six months after I was released from the hospital. I was just so depressed because I wasn’t getting better.”
Spencer’s mother decided to take her from Los Angeles to New Jersey and put her in the care of Christopher Reeve’s doctors at the famed Kessler Institute.
“About three weeks after I had been in New Jersey, they had me walking on a walker. This is [after] eight months in California with nothing.
By the grace of God, Spencer is alive and well and here to tell her story. SO much salacious news hits the web and blogs , but sometimes the poignant, touching stories go untapped. This is a success story if I ever heard one.
In January, Dr. Danielle Spencer-Fields (she has been a veterinarian for almost 10 years now) and co-writer Cheryl Pelt self-published, “Through the Fire: Journal of a Child Star,” a collection of memories from her early years, including details of overcoming personal adversity.