LENOIR, NC (WBTV) - I'm embarrassed to admit Dylan Hall's mom first reached out August 6th of last year. Eleven months and seven days later I'm FINALLY sharing Dylan's amazing story... but hopefully he can forgive my unexcusable delay.
I didn't meant to take so long, Dylan. I'm sorry.
For everyone else, here is what you should know about this 13-year-old in Lenoir:
- He has had 31 surgeries in his lifetime.
- All connected to spina bifida.
- He has nerve damage from the knees down.
- It impacts his bladder and he wears leg braces on both legs.
- "HE NEVER COMPLAINS!" says his mom Michelle.
- He'll be in the 8th grade at @Oakhill School.
- Has an 8-year-old sister named Taylor.
- Was homebound for part of 7th grade...
- ...STILL impressively made honor roll.
- Plays trumpet in his middle school band.
- Can't play sports, but was ball boy for various teams.
Michelle says the road was never been easy. She was a young mother – 19 years old – when she was pregnant with Dylan. Doctors knew there would be issues.
"They wanted me to have an abortion," she said. "Doctors told me I'd never be able to handle him. They weren't sure he'd ever walk or talk. They were wrong. He is my hero. I mean that with every ounce of my being. My teenaged son is my hero."
In 2007, Michelle says she almost lost Dylan. His intestines were accidentally nicked while in surgery and his body went septic. He remained in a coma for 20 days. He currently uses a wheelchair for long distances but Michelle says he doesn't want to be fully confined to one just yet.
"He is the happiest boy you'll ever meet," she said. "I can't emphasize it enough. He's happy and appreciative."
And… Dylan is best friends with another one of our amazing #MollysKids. Remember Will White? Last summer he got a personal video from Dale Earnhardt Junior (sent through Molly's Facebook page with HUGE help from NASCAR's Krista Voda)… then Charlotte charity "Dream On 3" got Will to Charlotte Motor Speedway where Junior surprised Will and took him on a 180-mph spin.
"Dylan and Will love each other," said Michelle. "And Will's mom, Annarra, is my best friend. It's a small world. Wanted to make sure you knew that connection."
Thank YOU Michelle for your kindness. And 11-months of patience. (I'm usually super-fast on the replies, but once a note goes with no response for weeks it gets pushed down and a waterfall of other emails end up keeping it covered. That's my pathetic excuse. Have I said yet that I'm sorry?)
Happy to meet you, Dylan. Keep fighting. Keeping a positive attitude is more than half the battle.