Young man heads home after catastrophic brain injury
Published Friday, November 25, 2016 5:21PM EST Last Updated Friday, November 25, 2016 10:39PM EST
Eighteen months after a devastating fall off a grain bin, a young man from Clarence-Rockland went home today.
It has been a long, difficult journey for 21-year-old Dylan White but today he literally took several steps towards his future.
There is a light in Dylan's eyes that seems to be growing brighter every time we meet him. That light is called hope.
“We’re going home soon, bud,” says his father, John, as he and his wife Maggie Boucher begin packing up Dylan’s belongings in his room at Saint Vincent Hospital in Ottawa.
That light in Dylan’s eyes is driven in part by his determined parents, in part by the wonderful care he has received and in part by his exceptional desire to live.
“We're doing well,” says Maggie Boucher, “We never give up on him.”
“I think it’s the determination of the individual,” adds John, “He had so much determination.”
CTV Ottawa first met Dylan in March of this year, just 9 months after that traumatic injury. He and some friends had climbed to the roof of a grain bin in the middle of the night. Dylan slipped and fell 60 feet to the ground, fracturing his shoulder blades, pelvic bones, even his eye sockets.
But it was the acquired brain injury, or ABI, that was most devastating. Dylan couldn't eat, walk or talk.
Now, he's talking and singing. And today, going home.
“What excite you most about going home?” Dylan is asked.
“Everything,” he says, and smiles.
Dylan has spent several months at Saint-Vincent hospital but in March, was flown to Hamilton's Health Science Centre to undergo extensive therapy.
“He's so alert now,” says John, “When he left in March, there was limited movement, and then all of a sudden things started to reconnect and go again.”
And the brain started telling the muscles how to work. With someone on either side of him, Dylan walked out of Saint Vincent.
“I’m walking out,” he said, “I’m walking out.”
That work will continue at home now.
He certainly is a miracle so to speak,” said Barry Hollywood, a clinical manager at Saint Vincent, “when you consider the catastrophic event for Dylan to where he is at now, and by what I see, I think he will continue to gain.”
At his house in Clarence-Rockland, friends and family gathered at the door to welcome him home, including several members of the Knights of the Inferno Fighterfighter Motorcycle Club. Dylan was supposed to get a motorcycle escort home today but the snow kyboshed that idea.
Surrounded by the power of family and friends, anything is possible.
“We’re glad you’re home.”
“Me, too,” adds Dylan.
A fundraiser involving a couple motorcycle clubs is planned for April 29th called Dylan's journey to raise money for acquired Brain Injury. Dylan plans to be part of that. Registration is at 9:30 at 953 Notre-Dame Street in Embrun. The ride begins at 11 a.m. Registration is $10.