Teen badly injured in Napa quake returns home from hospital

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A Napa teen who was badly injured when a chimney collapsed on him during the Napa earthquake is now home from the hospital recovering.

During the 6.0 Napa earthquake, a chimney fell on 13-year-old Nicholas Dillon. He's is temporarily in a wheelchair and is now recovering at home. He can't put any weight on his legs, but Nicholas says he's doing fine.

"I couldn't feel my legs. I thought I was paralyzed. Was there a cut on my leg? Was something cut open? Is there something wrong with me that I'm not seeing or feeling? It was pretty scary," Nicholas said.

He remembers everything that happened on the morning of Aug. 24. He and his friend were sleeping in the living room when the rumbling woke him up. Nicholas said, "As I started to crawl, I put my knee on the ground and that's when the chimney came down on me."

After a 10-hour surgery to repair a broken pelvis and spending weeks in three different hospitals, the ninth grader is finally back at home. He's happy and so are his buddies.

"As soon as they heard I was home from the hospital, I've had a lot of my friends come and talk to me. That's been awesome," he said.

Nicholas was enjoying his first weeks as a high school freshman when the quake hit. But he's been studying at the hospital and now at home while he's mending. Doctors say he has at least two months of intense physical therapy before he can go back to school.

"I'm struggling. I'm maybe a week behind in school, but I'm catching up," Nicholas said.

What he really misses is soccer. "I love soccer. You know, it's my passion. Being homebound, I'm not going to play for a while. You know that it sucks, but at least I can still watch the games," he said.

Talking to Nicholas, it always seems his glass is half full. It's the positive attitude he says that keeps him going. He told ABC7 News, "I don't want to look at it as a negative. I see this as a setback. I don't see it as something bad, I see this as a setback."

He's received a lot of get well cards and prayers from people around the world. He's known to many as "the earthquake boy."

So, what does he think of his fame?

"When I was in the hospital, a bunch of my nurses told me, 'You know kid, there are other ways of getting famous!'" he joked.

His family has set up the Nicholas Dillon Fund at the Bank of America in Napa to help with his medical costs.
Related Topics:
earthquakemarin countyteenteenagerhospitalprepare norcalsouth napa earthquakeUC DavisdisasterNapaSacramento
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