A man adopts a girl who has been locked up in a room with her mother for 6 years, giving her a new life - WTVideo.com
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A man adopts a girl who has been locked up in a room with her mother for 6 years, giving her a new life

By Alison Forde

There are stories that have the power to leave a profound mark not only on those who live through them, but also in those who learn about them. These are perhaps "extreme" cases and incredible events, which for this reason are particularly moving, for the important messages they give us.

What we are about to tell you is the story of a little girl who, for the first 6 years of her life, was kept in the house by her mother, away from everything and everyone, in a small room and in hygienic conditions that were pitiful to say the least. Reading such a thing, in itself, is disturbing and does not bode well, but fortunately the fate of this unfortunate child was destined to change for the better, in a twist that was like a second birth for her.

It was 2005 when Danielle Lierow (aka Dani) was found by police officers who intervened in her mother's house after a neighbor saw her repeatedly looking out of a window and reported the situation. She was in a very poor condition: the little room where her mother had trapped her was totally lacking in hygiene and cleanliness, she had only an old mattress to sleep on and little else.

Dani could not read or write, and refused to eat. She weighed just over 20 kg and could barely walk. The investigators who found her have called the affair "the worst case of its kind ever seen", and it's not hard to believe. The most disconcerting thing was that her mother, Michelle Crockett, widowed and then obviously arrested and sentenced, seemed not to even realize what she was doing to her child, due to obvious mental problems.

However, life often teaches us that even in the worst and darkest situations, fate can always reserve something positive for us. In fact, Dani's fate could have been much worse, even after her release, but luckily on her way she met a couple with immense hearts, who knew how to give her all the love she needed and that she had never received.

After a long hospitalization and therapy to regain little Dani's strength, the doctors and psychiatrists found that she had lacked any kind of stimulus, but there was no mental problem at all. She had grown up "savage", and few people would have agreed to take such an extreme case into their family.


But Bernie and Diane Lierow had taken her case so much to heart that they immediately thought Dani should live with them. "She just needed us" to grow and finally have a second chance in life. Despite the opposing views of child services officials themselves about the adoption, the couple were more determined than ever to have the child with them.

Raising Dani was not easy for the Lierows: husband and wife dedicated all their efforts to help her be "reborn" as a normal person. It took years before poor Dani learned to do what is absolutely normal for a girl of her age, but in the end their efforts paid off, even if speaking, for the girl, still seemed a distant goal.

Despite some improvements, there was no shortage of tension between the couple, so much so that the Lierows ended up divorcing. Bernie, the father, has kept Dani with him, firmly intending not to abandon her. The responsibilities, therefore, all ended up on his shoulders, and for him there were many difficulties. In the end, the man decided to get help from a foster home, which Dani attended every day, without however missing out on the presence of her father.

"It was a difficult decision to make, but it was necessary," Bernie commented. Today, in fact, Dani's problems have improved a lot. Even though she still can't speak, she is calmer and can interact better with those around her. "I'm sure it was worth it," said the adoptive father, certain that he managed to give his child all the love he had, exactly what she had missed out on in early childhood.

What Bernie feels for his daughter is something beyond simple fatherly love: this man, and his wife previously, have helped her be reborn into a better future, a life that should never be closed off to any child.


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