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Dan Santillo was only 21 in November 1990 when he was hit by a car outside his gates home. After emergency surgery, he was in a coma, and his family had no idea how long his journey to recovery would be. 

Dan’s father, Andy, tells us about those early days…


We didn’t know about unity at first—this was nearly 20 years ago. The hospital we were in wanted to send Dan out of state! That would have been an incredible burden on him and our entire family—my wife and me, and Dan’s wife and their baby daughter.

We heard about Unity (which was St. Mary’s at the time) through a friend. Dan was still in a coma when Dr. Mary Dombovy came to evaluate him and agreed to accept him into Unity’s program.

We’re so thankful that we had a place to go like Unity. Dan made strides immediately. I can’t say enough about Unity—it was our home for months and months.

Dan’s wife, Kristine, describes the experience…

Dan spent five days a week in therapy for eight long months. Everyone on the staff was wonderful, from the nurses to the therapists to the doctors. They were awesome, caring, and soothing—they knew exactly how to handle every challenge.

We’ve actually formed lasting relationships with some of the staff—and we were even invited to a wedding! We still visit often: they know us and always ask about our family—you never feel like a number.

Today, Dan and I have two daughters. He works at Wegmans and is doing amazing. He works hard, and it’s thanks to the staff at Unity that he’s been able to achieve all that he has.