Darla makes inspiring presentations relating her experiences on surviving tragedies and succeeding. She interlinks her story with songs that will leave you inspired and ready to achieve your dreams! Her story is an inspiration to all who feel their lives are somehow different...
Serious accidents involving children are too numerous and always tragic... but what could be a defining tragic moment in the lives of parents and child alike can also be a powerful and creative force in their lives and the lives of those they touch. Such is the case of Darla Hansen.
Darla's story begins in a hard-working, close-knit Iowa farm family of six children. When she picked up an attractive book of souvenir matches early one November morning, she couldn't know the events she had set in motion. A few brief moments and Darla's nightgown was in flames and the little girl was burned over 80% of her body. In 1966, this was surely a death sentence, but this special little girl's tragedy set off a powerful chain of events that can only be described as miraculous.
Within hours, Darla and her parents were at Children's Hospital in Omaha where they were told to expect their youngest child to die, if not that day then the next. The anguished parents weren't even able to hold their baby at this critical time. All the while, fiends and family back in the community of Elk Horn, Iowa were caring for the older Hansen children, doing daily farm chores, and even harvesting the crops in the fields. Funds were set up to pay for Darla's hospitalization and expected funeral costs. Fifteen days passed... it was then two special men, Shriners, entered the Hansen's lives.
A new Shriners Burn Center had just opened in Galveston, Texas. The Shriners flew the girl and her mother by charter jet to spend the next 135 days. When Darla was finally sent home, national magazines and state newspapers were on hand to tell the story. Darla's parents and relatives tell a story of a child who seldom sagged under the burden she was to carry, who unfailingly cheered up the weary adults around her, and whose faith was simple, pure and complete.
Darla's initial stay at the Galveston Shrine Burn Center was for almost four months. She was to return to that facility for numerous skin grafts and surgeries and follow-up care for more than thirteen years.
Is this four-year-old's, story tragic? Of course. But the adult Darla's life is anything but tragic... it's inspirational.
After meeting a young man she would marry following high school, a man who loves her inner beauty and strength, Darla decided to attend nursing school. She wished to help others the way she hall been helped. She and her husband Derek also overcame the tremendous odds against her being able to carry a child and now have four children of their own.
The Hansen family's love of music was especially strong in Darla, who had been blessed with a lovely singing voice and a desire to sing at every opportunity. Darla joined school choirs, a youth center singing group, and had even entered contests with friends. Once out of nursing school, Darla and another nurse she worked with began to play and sing together. When a country western musician invited Darla and her friend Nancy, to tour with him, the women turned down the offer, putting home and family first. But it so encourages them that they decided to form a duo... that was the beginning of Girls Night Out.
Darla and Nancy have since recorded three albums. Their talent and friendship are strong, but it is faith and triumph in the face of adversity which gives their music such passion.