Douglas sophomore Dillon McKenzie walking proud |

Douglas sophomore Dillon McKenzie walking proud

by Scott Neuffer
Nevada Appeal News Service

Douglas High School sophomore Dillon McKenzie, 15, stopped by The Record-Courier building on Monday for a photo shoot.

The R-C has been following Dillon’s progress as he has recovered from a spinal cord injury sustained in a July 7 diving accident. However, Dillon said he’s grown a little weary of the junior varsity football picture published numerous times since the accident. Instead, he said he wanted a picture of himself standing up and walking.

“I just want to show everyone that I’m not paralyzed anymore and that I’m getting back to normal,” he said. “I’m pulling through and not giving up.”

To prove his point, Dillon walked up and down the sidewalk with a single crutch. He hopes to be completely free-standing in the next couple of months.

“The hardest thing is to be patient,” he said. “Everything takes so long. You got to stay positive. If you don’t, you fall apart.”

Dillon recently returned to classes at Douglas High School, where he’s been using a wheelchair while his legs continue to strengthen.

“I realize how much I missed it,” he said of school. “My big goal is to play football my senior year. Mr. Monfiletto said I’m on the team no matter what, that I’m part of the family.”

Dillon’s recovery has been inspiring to many in the community, especially considering the fact doctors told parents Megan and Mike McKenzie their son wouldn’t walk again.

But he did. In September, Dillon took one, small step. On Monday, friends already were calling out his name as he walked up and down the main drag in front of The Record-Courier building.

“My legs are getting stronger,” he said. “I’m hoping that in the next month or two, I’ll be pretty much back to normal.”

Both Dillon and his mother thanked several people for their support, including, but not limited to, Douglas High School staff and coaches, Carson Valley Swim Center staff, and Shriners, Carson Tahoe Regional Medical Center and Renown hospitals.