Merced Boy Finds Inspiration after Amputation

May 12, 2008 9:36:02 PM PDT
An 11 year old Merced boy who survived a lawn mower accident is adjusting to life as an amputee and finding inspiration along the way.Tye Dutcher is happy to be home and even playing in the same backyard where he survived a life-changing accident.

Tye Dutcher: "The weird thing was, when it first happened, I felt no pain or anything. I was shocked."

Tye's father accidentally backed over him with a lawn mower in March when the 11 year old playfully snuck up behind him. Doctors in Sacramento had to amputate his right foot above the ankle. But that isn't stopping Tye from living life to the fullest.

Tye: "It happened for a reason basically, and I know there's going to be so many things I can do."

He's already headed back to school part time, and he's keeping up with computer lessons at home. He's also reading an inspirational book by Bethany Hamilton, the 13 year old surfer who lost her arm during a shark attack.

Tye: "She's also said that when she wakes up, it feels like her arm's still there, and when I wake up I feel like my foot's still there."

The young athlete is now waiting for a waterproof prosthetic and undergoing sometimes painful physical therapy. But through it all, his faith, friends, and family have helped keep a smile on his face.

Kim Dutcher/Mother "He's incredible. He has down moments, but more up moments than down, and he makes it easy for us."

And the Dutchers say they've all been inspired by the cards, gifts, and blood drives that show just how much the community cares.

Tye: "I can't believe this happened, but you guys really, really do care and I love you all."


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