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Lifestyle & Human Interest

Miracle Boy Celebrates Milestone Birthday After Doctors Told His Family He Wouldn't Live Past 12

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With the season of death, life and miracles upon us, it’s fitting to hear stories of people defying death in the form of disheartening medical prognoses and experiencing the miracle that life truly is.

Dylan Young was born with a rare condition that made itself known at age six months. When he was just half a year old, he had his first seizure.

Just a few years later, when he was in kindergarten, the boy was experiencing up to 200 seizures a day. His family was finally given a diagnosis: Hemimegalencephaly, a condition in which one side of the brain is malformed.

But that was only the first step. Young Dylan was barely able to function on any level due to the constant seizures. His father Bryan told WZTV that he was barely surviving, and certainly not thriving.

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The only real solution was to remove part of the boy’s brain — a terrible decision for any parent to face, but it ended up being the right one for Dylan, who doctors said would probably not make it past his 12th birthday.

“This is the little guy that we had full intentions that we weren’t going to make it here,” Bryan said. “At his worst we were having 150 – 200 seizures a day.

“It got to the point where his kindergarten year we spent 280 days that year at Vanderbilt. So, symptom wise he was 6 years old, 32 pounds, functioning like a 2-year-old.

“He wouldn’t eat anything. It was an event to have him finish a chicken nugget as a 5-year-old.”

But on April 1, Dylan turned 18. And he had a special request for that milestone birthday — a request that the Highland Rim Speedway Facebook page helped publicize.

“Dylan young is a young man that was not suppose to live past age 12 but he has beat the odds his 18 th birthday will be April 1st at 530 pm,” the post by the group reads.

“Dylan has ask for race cars and big trucks to ride by his house and make some noise veterans motorplex would like to invite all racers to come out Friday evening and help this special young man …”

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And the people delivered. On April 1, as Dylan sat in a chair on the lawn in Brentwood, Tennessee, car after car drove by. The joy was clear on the young man’s face.

There were sports cars, racing cars, dump trucks and more. There were lots of people present to celebrate Dylan — even clowns — and his mother said the day was such a success that when he woke up the next morning, he immediately went outside expectantly, looking for more.

“Thank you for the wonderful memories you created for Dylan and all of the thoughtful gifts!!” his mother,  Catie Young, wrote on the family’s behalf in a comment on the Highland Rim Speedway’s post. “He loves them all!! Our family has definitely been blessed with wonderful new friends!! Some of the most beautiful souls we’ve ever met.

“#VeteransMotorPlex Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for the Family Season Pass!! The years worth of memories that this will bring for our family is absolutely priceless. Y’all are definitely going to see this family around very soon, and frequently!! Just wonderful!! Thank you so much!!!

“Charlie hot rod Jackson, you are an angel on earth, with a truly magnificent big red nose!!! We are SO thankful that God crossed our paths. Much love to you all, and your willingness to put a smile on a special 18 year olds face!”

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Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she's strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.
As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn't really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she's had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children's books with her husband, Edward.
Austin, Texas
Languages Spoken
English und ein bißchen Deutsch
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Animals, Cooking