At first glance the couple twirling and shimmying across the dance floor look like any enthusiastic wedding guests – but U.S. Navy specialist,Taylor Morris, and his girlfriend, Danielle Kelly, could have stolen the spotlight from even the most glamorous bride and groom.In a moving video filmed at a friend’s wedding in September, the quadruple amputee and bomb disposal expert whose legs, left arm and right hand were blown off during a deployment in Afghanistan, shows just how remarkable his recovery has been on a visit home to Cedar Falls, Iowa.
Thanks to the help of his prosthetics, Taylor, 23, spins his partner and then holds her tight with all the finesse of a dance floor pro, proving that with sheer bravery and the unwavering support of his loved ones, anything is possible.
Looking glamorous in a cream ruffled evening dress and white sandals, Kelly squeals with delight as her handsome and immaculately turned-out date gives her a couple of twirls to ‘Old Time Rock And Roll’ and the later pulls her in tenderly for a slow Boyz-II-Men classic.
Danielle told MailOnline: ‘To be home over Labor Day weekend with our friends and family was exactly what we needed.
‘There is nothing like spending quality time with the people you love. We were so happy to be able to be home for our friend’s wedding. It was a friend from high school so all of our other friends were at the wedding.
‘It was awesome to be back home surrounded by people we love. The night was perfect! It felt incredible to be in Taylor’s arms again dancing the night away. It was amazing to see a glimpse of life after the hospital. Once again reassurance that we WILL have the life we have always dreamed of.’
The touching film adds to the incredible chronicle of Morris’ recovery that also includes recent photographs taken by a friend in August.
Tenderness: Taylor holds his girlfriend close as they slow dance to Boyz II Men
Stronger together: Danielle Kelly has helped her boyfriend through his recovery since the moment he arrived back on home soil
The pictures show just how far the Navy specialist has come since he almost died after stepping on an IED on May 3 this year.
The touching images show Taylor being carried up a flight of stairs on Danielle’s back and the couple working together on his rehabilitation exercises at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Washington D.C.
Others show Taylor visiting the White House on a day to honor veterans and lining up with fellow groomsmen at the wedding with the use of his new prosthetics.
The pictures were taken by the couple’s friend and photographer Tim Dodd. According to his blog, while receiving a Bronze Star with Valor at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Taylor paid tribute to Danielle saying: ‘If I had hands, I’d take this Bronze Star and pin it on Danielle.
‘It’s been so hard and she’s been here the whole time.’
Road to recovery: Taylor and Danielle work together at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Washington D.C.
Courage: Danielle carries Taylor up the stairs and gives the decorated hero a hug
The homecoming on August 30 saw the residents of Cedar Falls line the streets with American flags to welcome the injured hero home.
After attending the wedding of friends and visiting family, the couple then returned to Walter Reed Medical Center in Washington D.C. to carry on with Taylor’s rehabilitation.
They plan to return home to attend a fundraiser on October 19 which is being organized via the Taylor Morris Community Support on Facebook.
On May 3, Taylor was leading a team of U.S. Army Special Forces to a classified location near Kandahar province when he stepped on an Improvised Explosive Device, which went off directly underneath him.
Remarkable recovery: Taylor was fitted with prosthetic arms and legs in May and is well ahead of schedule with his progress
Since his story was featured on The Chive in May, readers have raised more than $250,000 for the young man to help him buy his dream home and plan for his future.
‘As soon as I stepped on it, I knew,’ he told John Resig, the co-owner of the website which first told the story.
‘There was a moment, then I heard the blast. I felt the heat. I knew I had lost my legs. As I somersaulted through the air, I watched my legs fly off.’
Lean on me: The young couple have achieved their goal of owning a log cabin thanks to more than $250,000 of donations from those who were touched by Taylor’s bravery and sacrifice
Romance: Taylor and Danielle hold hands as he continues to make progress after being injured in Afghanistan earlier this year
Taylor landed back in the blast crater, but despite the horrific injuries he had sustained, he remained conscious and did not go into shock.
Even though the 23-year-old was bleeding profusely from all four severed limbs, he called to the oncoming medics to stay away from the site of the blast so as not to put them in danger in case there were other mines around.
The area around the injured man was finally cleared by the second EOD specialist, and the medic finally administered combat casualty care. Morris remained alert throughout the whole ordeal.
Combat: Taylor Morris with a colleague during his tour of duty in Afghanistan
Brave: Taylor Morris has been recovering at Walter Reed Army Medical Center from his injuries
Survivor: Morris was told that he was only the fifth patient at Walter Reed to have survived a four-limb amputation
‘They asked me how much it hurts on a scale of one to ten. I said, ‘Definitely a ten. It freaking hurts,’’ he recalled.
Medical crews and comrades were under fire as they came to his aid. They got him on a stretcher and he was evacuated by helicopter to a hospital in Kandahar and then to Germany.
Somewhere between those final two stops, Morris finally lost consciousness after a doctor administered a strong sedative.
Three days later, on May 6, the 23-year-old arrived back in the U.S. and was transported to Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, DC, to begin the long and painful rehabilitation process.
Morris became only the fifth patient at the hospital to ever survive a four-limb amputation. So far, his progress has been ahead of schedule.
‘My body is responding well,’ Morris said. ‘I’m already sitting up. I’m very fortunate.’
On May 30, the stitches in his arms were removed and he was fitted for prosthetics. The stitches in his legs were removed several days later.
Adventurer: Danielle Kelly (right) said he and Morris have always loved water sports and nature
Morris’ sisters, Molly and Claire, have been organizing fundraisers at home.
His brother, Riley, is serving in the Iowa National Guard, and his father, Dan, has been at the hospital with his son as often as work permits.
Morris has had visits from other wounded warriors; top military personnel, including the commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps; Congressman Bruce Braley and actor Joe Mantegna, an advocate for returning veterans.
While he said that his medical bills are covered, the 23-year-old man with a love of the great outdoors said that he has always dreamed of building a log cabin in the woods on a lake where he could live with his girlfriend, Danielle Kelly.
‘Taylor and I are both savers, and we had been working our butts off to ensure we’d have a cabin, close to water to do water sports, and places we can hike,’ Kelly said.
‘After what happened, we will not abandon that dream if it takes years of saving.’
The Chive invited viewers to make contributions toward Morris’ dream cabin, setting the goal at $30,000, but just 12 hours later, $143,000 had been raised through online donations at TaylorMorris.org.
Donations have now exceeded $250,000 and the family’s website was experiencing technical problems today because so many people were reading his remarkable story.
Cheques also may be made out to the Taylor Morris Recovery Fund at any Veridian Credit Union branch. Bracelets and T-shirts are available for sale at TaylorMorris.org, where donations can be made through PayPal.