PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- When Dylan Woodhouse broke his neck while swimming at Old Orchard Beach this past summer, the last thing he was thinking about was braving the frigid waters of the Atlantic on New Year's Day.
"You see a lot of stuff when you are in the hospital and it gives you a better appreciation for the handicapped and what they have to go through," said Woodhouse who has been in numerous hospitals and rehab facilities since his accident.
Dylan Woodhouse was swimming with a friend at Old Orchard Beach when he dove into a wave. The undertow pulled him under the water and slammed his body into the ocean floor, breaking his neck. Lucky for Dylan, his friend was nearby and pulled him to shore.
After three and a half months of rehabilitation, Woodhouse has beaten the odds and is now able to walk using a cane. Doctors had told his parents while he was in surgery that their son had less than a ten percent chance of ever walking again.
"He said with this type of injury, he hadn't seen, in 20 years, somebody walk again after," Dylan's mother, Diane Moxcey, was told by the surgeon after his surgery. "You never know how strong your kid is until you see them at their lowest."
A rigorous schedule of physical therapy, including biking, swimming and working out in the gym have allowed Dylan to regain much of the motion in one of his two legs.
Now, he is planning on raising money for the Maine Special Olympics by participating in the 22nd Annual Lobster Dip. He will not be diving into the ocean this time, but with the help of some friends and family, will walk into the water. Coincidentally, the event is held on the same stretch of beach where his accident occured.
"I just want to help the less fortunate basically," explained Woodhouse. "Because I have seen the worst of the worst, being in hospitals, and I just want to do what I can to help those people out."
Dylan Woodhouse has created a website to raise money for the Special Olympics, and has raised about $500 so far from friends and family. You can find more information and make a donation by visiting Dylan's website by clicking here.