Valley boy takes a 'swing' at hope, 10 months after boating accident

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Dylan at batting practice (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Dylan at batting practice (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Dylan Darland (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Dylan Darland (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

His mom thought her son might never play baseball again.

But 10 months after a terrible boating accident, Dylan Darland did some batting practice at Phoenix Children’s Hospital! 

We first told you about little Dylan Darland, aka Dylan Strong, back in December.

Dylan was thrown from a boat and run over during a trip to Lake Powell in July. 

The 7-year-old was flown across the state to Phoenix Children's Hospital. He lost his right leg below the knee, and his right arm had to be reattached. His jaw muscle was also severed.

"We sat and waited for five hours to see what could be done," Dylan's mom, Tara Gagliardi, said. "We didn't know if his neck was broken. We waited for about five hours, and when he came out of surgery, he was alive. He was alive!"

After eight weeks in the hospital, Dylan finally got to join his two brothers at home for the holidays.

"I feel good that he's home with us," Gage, one of his brothers, said.

Parker, the oldest of the three brothers, says he thinks his kid brother might even be stronger now than he was before the accident. 

The boys love to play with Legos together and, boys being boys, they wrestle. There's also a lot of physical therapy with the goal of fitting Dylan with permanent prosthetics. 

Gagliardi is grateful for this precious family time and credits the support of friends, family and her husband for their strength to get through this tough time. 
She also credit's Dylan's incredible optimism. 

"He says, 'This is me, and this is what I'm going to have to live with for the rest of my life,'" she said. "I'm the one who thinks, 'Poor Dylan.' But he doesn't think, 'Poor Dylan.' He's Dylan Strong. He's amazing."

Dylan is the cousin of 3TV's own April Warnecke. 

She profiled #DylanStrong during the holiday season.

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