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A Modern-Day Fairy Tale in 25 Photos: A Quad-Amputee Soldier, his Girlfriend and their Unqualified Love

Taylor Morris

Taylor Morris and Danielle Kelly

Taylor Morris is a Navy Explosive Ordinance Disposal (EOD) Technician who was deployed to Afghanistan in January.

On May 3, he was so severely wounded he lost both of his legs, left arm from the bicep down, and right hand.

One thing has remained constant since Taylor sustained his injury: The love and devotion of his long-time girlfriend Danielle Kelly.

Taylor’s friend, photographer Tim Dodd, has captured Taylor and Danielle’s journey in a series of gorgeous photographs. Take a look:

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  • Taylor Morris 1 of 25
    Taylor Morris
    Taylor Morris is a Navy Explosive Ordinance Disposal from Cedar Falls, Iowa.
  • Danielle Kelly 2 of 25
    Danielle Kelly
    Danielle is Taylor's long-time girlfriend.
  • Taylor at work 3 of 25
    Taylor at work
    In January 2012, Taylor was deployed on his first tour to Afghanistan, set to return August 2012.
  • Danielle by Taylor’s side 4 of 25
    Danielle by Taylor's side
    On May 3, 2012, Taylor was injured in action.
  • Taylor and Danielle 5 of 25
    Taylor and Danielle
    Taylor's injuries were profound, but he stayed conscious immediately afterwards. He was able to call Danielle and his family to tell them everything. He sustained injuries to all four limbs, which ultimately entailed the loss of both legs, left arm from the bicep down, and right hand.
  • Taylor comes home 6 of 25
    Taylor comes home
    Taylor Morris and Danielle Kelly walk off the plane and onto Iowa ground for the first time since Taylor's accident in May
  • Taylor and Danielle 7 of 25
    Taylor and Danielle
    Danielle wrote on her blog, "He is the most loyal and loving person I know, so I ask everyone to be there for him."
  • Taylor Morris and Danielle Kelly still cuddle watching a movie at Walter Reed Medical Academy in Washington, DC 8 of 25
    Taylor Morris and Danielle Kelly still cuddle watching a movie at Walter Reed Medical Academy in Washington, DC
    Taylor and Danielle still stop and enjoy the little things. Although it's not holding hands while watching a movie, nub holding will suffice.
  • Taylor Morris and Danielle Kelly at Walter Reed in Washington, DC 9 of 25
    Taylor Morris and Danielle Kelly at Walter Reed in Washington, DC
    There's a lot of waiting to be had. Although the waits are annoying, they chit chat to keep each other company.
  • Taylor Morris and Danielle Kelly at Walter Reed in Washington, DC 10 of 25
    Taylor Morris and Danielle Kelly at Walter Reed in Washington, DC
    Taylor working his absolute hardest while Danielle looks onward admiringly.
  • At Walter Reed 11 of 25
    At Walter Reed
    Taylor reaches out to show his love to Danielle
  • At Walter Reed 12 of 25
    At Walter Reed
    Taylor will continue to break the rules, exceed expectations and push the boundaries of what's possible.
  • Taylor Morris with his girlfriend Danielle Kelly at Walter Reed Medical Academy in Washington, DC 13 of 25
    Taylor Morris with his girlfriend Danielle Kelly at Walter Reed Medical Academy in Washington, DC
    Taylor and Danielle's bodies work in perfect harmony; she selflessly sacrifices temporary use of her own limbs to serve as Taylor's many times throughout the day.
  • Taylor and Danielle kissing, downtown DC 14 of 25
    Taylor and Danielle kissing, downtown DC
    Taylor and Danielle still have the same love for each other. She misses his hands as much as he does, but they're moving on.
  • After a parade in Taylor’s honor 15 of 25
    After a parade in Taylor's honor
    No one wanted to call it a night, but everyone eventually said their goodbyes and well wishes.
  • Taylor and Danielle 16 of 25
    Taylor and Danielle
    Danielle advises everyone to grab someone you love and slow dance with them, because you never know when you'll be able to do it again.
  • Taylor Morris in Washington, DC 17 of 25
    Taylor Morris in Washington, DC
    Taylor is using technically advanced legs — Otto Bock x2′s. The x2′s have a passive knee joint that can guess what Taylor is attempting to do based on where the pressure is on his feet, the angle of the leg and by where Taylor puts his weight. Although they're highly advanced, if he missteps, the knees turn into a folding lawn chair and he'll instantly fall to the ground.
  • Taylor and Danielle on the beach 18 of 25
    Taylor and Danielle on the beach
    Taylor still has a ways to go, but his progress is nothing short of astounding.
  • Taylor and Danielle on the beach 19 of 25
    Taylor and Danielle on the beach
    "Taylor is determined to conquer anything, and this won't be any different," Danielle wrote on her blog.
  • Taylor and Danielle on the beach 20 of 25
    Taylor and Danielle on the beach
    Taylor is creating his own rules and timeline for his recovery.
  • Downtown Cedar Falls 21 of 25
    Downtown Cedar Falls
    Taylor and Danielle walking downtown Cedar Falls, which was decorated for Taylor's homecoming. The marque at the Oster Regent Theatre says it all, "Taylor Morris, Hero, Welcome home."
  • Bright lights, big future 22 of 25
    Bright lights, big future
    Taylor and Danielle laugh and smile constantly. Their love beams from their faces, and their love shows in their hard work.
  • Taylor and Danielle 23 of 25
    Taylor and Danielle
    According to photographer Tim Dodd, "surprising strength" is a common bond Taylor and Danielle share.
  • Taylor and Danielle in Virginia Beach 24 of 25
    Taylor and Danielle in Virginia Beach
    On a recent trip to Virginia Beach, "Taylor and Danielle still flirted in the back seat the whole way down, tickling and teasing each other the entire time."
  • Taylor and Danielle at a friend’s wedding 25 of 25
    Taylor and Danielle at a friend's wedding
    This is Taylor less than four months after his life was impossibly saved by the marvels of modern science, incredibly brave souls, and by nothing short of a long list of miracles. Ask any professional who deals with traumatic injury and amputees, people simply don't get to this point this quickly. Most amputees don't stand within the first three months, nor do they even consider walking in six months. So to see a man dancing, gracefully, with out stutter for hours in less than four months, screams of Taylor's great power, strength and determination. Not all credit is his own though, as he will attest he would not be moving this quickly if it wasn't for Danielle. Taylor tearfully expressed in an emotional speech at Walter Reed while receiving a Bronze Star with Valor, the most beautifully sad words I've ever heard: "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."

Photographs by Tim Dodd Photography. Select captions from Tim Dodd Photography and TaylorMorris.org. To see more of Taylor Morris’ story, go to TimDoddPhotography.com 

To make a donation to a trust that has been established for Taylor Morris, go here

Source: BuzzFeed

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