The family of a hit-and-run victim today praised the thousands of people across Doncaster who rallied round and helped them in their desperate search when she went missing.
Danielle Stoton, aged 20, sustained devastating injuries in a hit-and-run collision two years ago this month.
The crash left her needing a lot of support in her everyday life.
When she missed an appointment at her Armthorpe home yesterday morning and then failed to attend another scheduled booking later that day her family were instantly worried and informed police of her disappearance.
Following a public appeal launched by The Doncaster Free Press online, thousands of people tried to help find Danielle – either through sharing the story with friends on social media or by taking to the town’s streets on foot and in cars.
Danielle was found just over 12 hours later.
Her grateful mother Michelle Stoton today issued her moving thanks to the thousands of kind-hearted people who helped the search.
Michelle, of Harris Road, Armthorpe, said: “Astrid Blackham found her – she’s one of my customers who has become a friend.
“Thanks to every one of you who helped share on social media, who searched on car and foot.
“Danielle has been found, safe, tired and frustrated.
“Thank you South Yorkshire Police, Doncaster Star and every person who cared and prayed and took time out of their day.
“There are some amazing and good people about – I’m forever grateful.”
Even though Danielle’s accident was two years ago, the former Doncaster College pupil is still coming to terms with what happened to her and how it has affected her mentally.
Michelle says she can find life very difficult and frustrating.
She said: “Danielle is very frustrated with what life she has now – not what she planned for at all and not that of other 20 year olds.
“It’s hard as this is an acquired brain injury as opposed to one from birth where she would know no different.”
Danielle is now receiving support from a number of different agencies as she continues in her recovery.
When it began to grow dark on Wednesday, members of the public began to organise search parties, preparing to comb the town’s woods and streets in a bid to find her.
And the outpouring of support and love continued, with hundreds of people leaving moving messages to Danielle on social media.
Victoria Jane Swiffen said: “Danielle, you have come so, so far. We are all so incredibly proud of you.”
Janet Brookes said: “Hope she’s found soon, she’s been through so much, all her hard work and determination, I don’t know her but have followed her story, she is an amazing young lady.”