Phoenix Children's Hospital saves Valley 7-year-old after painful accident

Posted at 7:14 PM, Apr 07, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-07 23:13:58-04

A young Valley boy is learning how to be fearless again, thanks to the help of the doctors at Phoenix Children's Hospital.

Last summer, 7-year-old Dylan Darland was at the lake with his family, when fun turned into fear and unimaginable pain.

"We were cruising and we felt we hit something," said Jeff Darland, Dylan's dad. "The boys were riding in front. They all went off."

Dylan went under the boat.

"I was screaming, crying," remembers Jeff.

Dylan's mom, Tara Gagliardi wasn't with her ex-husband or son when the accident happened, but she remembers what it felt like when she heard the news.

"I got the phone call, and all he said was, 'Tara, Dylan's hurt. Dylan's hurt really bad. He's hurt really bad,'" Tara says. "His leg was missing and his arm was to be amputated."

A home video taken at Phoenix Children's Hospital shows Dylan as he woke up from his medically-induced coma. Even then, his strength was undeniable.

But, two weeks later, reality set in as Dylan had to learn how to move and walk again with only one arm and one leg.

Somehow, PCH finds ways to make light of a dark situation, and as Dylan works tirelessly, so do his therapists at the hospital.

A series of home videos show the remarkable progress Dylan has made in just a matter of months. It's the fight of his life -- and he's just 7 years old.

And that's something the staff at PCH never forgets.

Eight months after that tragic day, Dylan continues to recover and to learn.

"He's an inspirational little dude," says Tara.

Inspirational, always adventurous and never discouraged. He lives the slogan that bears his name: #DylanStrong.

Looking for ways to help Phoenix Children's Hospital? Join us Tuesday and be a Hero for Hope in our ABC15 Telethon, benefiting PCH. It runs from 9 a.m. until 10:35 p.m.