Meet Dillon: 2020 Family Advocacy Week Champion
Dillon is participating in Speak Now for Kids Family Advocacy Week from August 10-14, 2020. Through this special event, Dillon and his family will share information about his health journey, Children’s Health’s role in providing Dillon with necessary health care services, and why the public and our elected officials must invest in the future of kids like Dillon.
On Sept. 3, 2017, Dillon was rushed to the Emergency Room at Children’s Health after a major car accident. A severed spinal cord, urological damage and facial fractures were just a few of the many injuries 11-year-old Dillon sustained.
He was left paralyzed from the waist down.
“I was told of his diagnosis during the second day of his hospital stay,” says Kawonna, Dillon’s mother. “My heart sank. Dillon was emotional for about five minutes, and then graciously informed me and the doctors that he will successfully adjust to his new way of life.”
After 20 days in the ICU at Children's Health, and another week in general pediatrics care, Dillon was transferred to Our Children’s House for occupational therapy.
Currently, he still sees his pediatric neurosurgeon. He also receives aggressive physical therapy and has been introduced to various equipment that helps him become more mobile and independent.
“Dillon took his diagnosis better than the rest of the family,” says Kawonna. “We decided at that moment to face any future challenges with bravery and acceptance. We would live in the purpose of our trauma and coined the mantra ‘Our situation is life changing, not life ending, so let’s keep living.’"
Dillon has made a remarkable recovery since the accident less than three years ago. He remains optimistic, in part because of the insurmountable support he’s received from the hospital.
“They have assisted our family with physical, emotional, social, therapeutic and financial assistance,” says Kawonna. “The care has continued through access to various motivational camps, outreach opportunities and other avenues that have assisted in Dillion’s overall wellbeing.”
Today, Dillion is in high school studying accessibility architecture. He likes to travel and learn more about how other places care for, and accommodate, people with disabilities. Dillon’s made it his personal mission to help people like him and make the world more accessible to people in wheelchairs. He also enjoys singing in the church choir and has recently started playing wheelchair basketball.