Destrehan, La. - Tragedy can bring out the best in people. A St. John Parish woman proves that everyday. Daniell Nielson's husband died in a senseless shooting more than a year ago; today she's finds solace in an unusual way.
"Sometimes I run because I need to think and clear my head. It's a place where I can just be," she said.
Daniell works out to work through unimaginable pain. She runs from the hurt of losing the love of her life.
August 16, 2012, St. John Parish Sheriff's Deputy Brandon Nielson died in an ambush. He was on a detail at a trailer park in Laplace.
Daniell was sleeping when she got a call from her mother.
"She said is Brandon home, just tell me if he's home," Daniell said.
Her mother told her some officers had been shot in St. John Parish.
Daniell called dispatch.
"Then another person got on the phone and said hang tight they're on their way to come talk to you," Daniell said.
45 minutes later the Sheriff confirmed her nightmare.
"He got out and was shaking his head no and I knew no meant he wasn't coming back home."
Daniell and Brandon had been inseparable. They married in 2004 and blended a family of four children between them. Then, their daughter Lily was born.
"We liked to do things together. We were comfortable, we were fine. We were happy with each other, but not so much with ourselves," she said with tears in her eyes.
They both struggled with their weight.
"I was cooking and we were eating. Brandon was not an exercise person and neither was I. I love the pictures of us together regardless. I don't like the way I looked and I didn't like the way I felt," she said.