Dan Lloyd Incorporates Photography into Recovery

Story by Nancy Saunders, Photos by Dan Lloyd

Sunrise at Marina Park

On January 16, 2019, Dan Lloyd was ending a shift he’d picked up for a coworker at the Walmart in Arthur Street Marketplace, where he works as assistant manager. As Lloyd left the building he realized he’d left his work phone inside and returned to get it. Back out in the parking lot, Lloyd was struck by a vehicle going 70 kilometres an hour.
“It’s a very tough thing to be told you might not be able to walk for a year, that you were three seconds away from dying, that being alive is nothing short of a miracle,” says Lloyd. His extensive injuries included a cracked skull that required 37 stitches, a concussion, a broken orbital bone, and a fractured hip and arm. The father of two says that “it was impossible to give up for me once I saw my kids. […] Their reaction to my condition after the accident gave me the determination not to let this incident overtake me. I decided I needed to stay positive even though it was hard to do some days, as I was suddenly unable to do the things I had done every day—as simple as sitting up or sleeping on my side or opening up my eyes.”

A big part of Lloyd’s recovery was his focus on photography. He started by taking photos on his phone, and selling them to save up for a camera. “It’s really helped me,” he says. “I always love that it gets me out and around the city, taking in all the beauty. Considering Thunder Bay is my hometown, I am constantly surprised by the amount of beauty I discover each day. I didn’t want to take things for granted again, so grabbing a camera or my phone and getting around the city […] just taking pictures—I just find it peaceful.”

An ice formation in March at Thunder Bay’s waterfront

Lloyd loves the excitement of getting the right shot; of taking 50 photos of the same thing and having one that stands out and speaks to him. His recovery and his hobby share several characteristics: perspective, focus, patience, stopping to appreciate the little things along the way, and being positive. “For all the bad of it and the struggles of it, I think it’s given me a new perspective on life and […] was a wake-up call to appreciate things and not let a moment pass by.”

Lloyd describes the support he received as having been unbelievably overwhelming, including visits, texts, and messages from people he hadn’t seen in years. “I’ve had people reach out and thank me for sharing my story, saying it’s helpful for them and what they’re going through. It’s just crazy to think that I could have any kind of impact on someone else. Everyone has their own trials that they’re trying to get through, and if my story and what I’ve done to get here helps anyone.”

Lloyd enjoys photographing scenery, sunrises, and sunsets, and has recently gotten into wildlife photography. His work can be found online at www.allthedaze.ca/store as well as at Reid’s Furniture, Afloat Wellness Centre, and Comix Plus Music Exchange.