GMF boy to serve as ambassador

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Eight years after Daniel Bohl-Everly was labeled as a do-not-resuscitate baby, the third-grader at Ute Pass Elementary School has been named one of seven Children's Hospital Colorado Ambassadors for 2013.

As an ambassador, Daniel, 9, will represent the hospital at fundraising events throughout the year, including interviews on radio and television. His photograph will appear on brochures and posters around the state.

“We want Daniel to help other children, to be the spokesperson because his brothers and sisters here have no voice,” said Donna Everly, Daniel's mother and owner of a medical home for infants and children in Green Mountain Falls.

Over the past eight years, Everly has cared for more than 20 children, most of whom were not expected to survive. 

Daniel was born with a rare form of dwarfism as well as restrictive-lung disease. “He was in a home that wasn't equipped to care for him,” said Everly, who is a critical-care nurse. “I went to bat for him and the judge awarded me custody.”

Until two years ago, Daniel was dependent upon a tracheal tube to breathe. “He will never have to go back to the tube,” Everly said.

Daniel is vivacious and self-confident, a reflection of Everly's tender loving care as well as an innate sense of joy. Where others saw only “do-not-resuscitate,” Everly saw hope.

Recipient of awards from El Paso and Larimer counties, Everly's medical home is among the few in the state to care for infants and children born with debilitating conditions. “Most of these kids die in utero or shortly after birth,” she said.

Six children currently reside in Everly's home, each one receiving critical care around the clock. “Many children, some of them traumatized, have passed through this home,” she said. “Because many of them are not going to survive they need somebody to make decisions for them, to stand up for them and be their voice.”

For the next year, Daniel will be that voice while his mother will serve as advocate for Children's Colorado. His first event is next month in Denver.