Today, he’s a captain, diver, speaker, author

On March 20, 1993, retired Houston police officer Danny Vaughan was rushed to Harris Health Ben Taub Hospital clinging to life after being shot in the face. Today, he is a walking testament to “the wonderful care the medical staff provided.”

While Danny filled in for another officer at the police station, a gunman approached the front desk and shot him four times. At Ben Taub, he spent six hours in surgery and required 500 units of blood.

“The care there was great. They saved my life,” he says. “I can’t thank them enough. Without all the nurses, doctors and medical staff at Ben Taub, I would not be alive today.”

Following his near-death experience, Danny continued his work with the Houston Police Academy Gymnasium, where he conducted physical wellness evaluations on police officers and cadets. He also worked at the Houston Police Academy Firearms and Tactical Training Division, where he taught hands-on combat.

During his recovery and rehabilitation, Danny was determined to make his own future. His advice to other traumatic brain injury patients is: “There is quality of life if you choose it.”

A self-described “extremely good-looking man who likes to have fun,” Danny chose life. Told he would never drive again, he now drives 120 miles a day managing his 19 rental houses. He is a licensed master captain, open-water scuba diver, international professional speaker and an author. He wrote The Ambush at South Central, The Danny Vaughan Story and Reflections, Thoughts of a Dead Guy to help others understand adversity.

“Being in rehab 24/7 for nine months is not living. It’s existing,” he says, and knew that readers could benefit from his experiences.

Danny Vaughan not only chose to live, he chose to squeeze as much into a day as possible. “Life is full, it’s very good.”

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