A South Jersey Dad’s Story: Part One – Fighting For His Son and His Son’s Life
Sometimes your circumstances in life call on you to do extraordinary things; things you never expect or anticipate of yourself. It is at these times that you get a true sense of exactly who you are. Can you reach down… within yourself and summon the strength to give a worthy effort to this enormous job? Not all can. It takes an extraordinary person to do extraordinary things.
Others watch us at those defining moments, to see the heights to which a person can climb, and his journey becomes an inspiration for them. That moment is where I find myself as I watch Dan Feltwell of Margate. Dan is the single father of Danny, a four-year-old boy with a rare and aggressive form of adolescent cancer.
Dan Feltwell is an extraordinary man for whom I have incredible respect. Dan has been facing a series of circumstances that are testing his heart and soul, and he is meeting that test and setting a proud example for his son and all of us to follow.
Now, Dan is contemplating writing a book about his son’s struggle with cancer. Here is part one of the sketch for that manuscript with Dan Feltwell telling you his story in his own words. I will try to post additional “chapters” as Dan makes them available. Please feel free to leave your thoughts for Dan and Danny in the comments section below….
October 14th, 2012
I have been fighting for my son long before he was born.
I was in a relationship for about 4 years and things were good, I was happy and in love. Then after 4 years everything fell apart, my life just was not what it used to be. When my girlfriend, at the time, became addicted to prescription drugs and I did everything thing I could, I tried to get her help. After months of this I finally had enough and quit the relationship. About 3 weeks after I quit I received a call from her telling me she was pregnant, with Danny. I supported her in every way, I could not believe that I was going to have a Child; I was going to be a father! I went back into the relationship and gave everything I had and more, I gave all of me and so much more.
Throughout the months of her pregnancy I let all of her doctors know exactly what she had done during her first months of being pregnant. I was so worried about what could have been done to our child because of her actions early in her pregnancy. She was happy about being pregnant and sorry for her actions and said she loved me, wanted to be with me and build our family. Then after she was about 6 months pregnant I found out that she started to be around the very same people who she started this behavior with. I got phone calls from this guy saying she was continuing this behavior and that he was her boyfriend now (he was giving her the pills and would not stop). I was livid, no one was going to take my child from me, I would not let this happen. I went to my attorney to see what I could do, I could do nothing. I had no right to my son until he was born and then I had to prove everything I knew was true in court before I could have my son.
At 7 ½ months pregnant she was in a car accident with the very same guy who called me just a month or two before. This time her parents knew, everyone knew what was going on even the doctors at the Hospital where she was taken. I followed my attorney`s advice and did everything anyone could do but I still had no right by law to just take my son away once he was born. This was the day she stated she was through with all of this and wanted to be with me and have our child together.
Danny was born on Aug. 23rd 2008 and this was the happiest day of my life. Truly not knowing even if he was my son I fell in love with him the moment I cut his umbilical cord. The very next day a DNA test proved that Danny was my son, but I knew he was the moment I saw him. I was worried about Danny and what would happen if she were to go back to doing these things. I went to my attorney the day after I brought him home and the only solution was to marry this woman, then I could take my son if need be. I could then leave with Danny and not worry about any legal issues. I married this woman not because I was madly in love with her but because I loved my son more than life itself, I needed to protect him. For the first 3 months everything was for the most part happy, I thought that she changed. I put everything into being a father and a husband. I fell in love with this woman all over again, I was in a good place in my life. I would think about being a father and a husband and I could think of no other way I wanted to spend the rest of my life.