15-year-old Dayton Webber loves the great outdoors.
“Dayton is an avid hunter, he rides dirt bikes and four wheelers,” says Natalie Webber, Dayton’s mother.
Aside from his outdoor activities, Dayton also wrestles.
The 15-year-old Charlotte Hall, Maryland youth sounds a lot like other boys his age, but he’s not the same.
Dayton lost both his arms and legs when he was just 10 months old.
“He was in and out of the hospital. Four months after the back and forth, we found out he got a streptococcus pneumonia infection. Doctors told us they had to remove his arms and legs,” remembers his mother, Natalie.
“It didn’t matter to us. We just wanted to bring Dayton home.”
Dayton would spend years with prosthetics that didn’t lend to his active lifestyle. After all, he was just a young boy who wanted to do what boys do. But obviously, he had limitations.
“They tried to give Dayton prosthetics with knees, but they just weren’t ones that were good enough. He couldn’t run and that was a big deal,” said Natalie.
Then about seven years ago, he met someone who would help change his life, or more accurately allow him to live a lifestyle the young boy wanted.
“We contacted Dennis Haun. He easily related to my son and the activities he was interested in. Dennis knew my son wanted to have an active lifestyle. Just all the things little boys liked to do,” Natalie explained.
Haun is a prosthetist at Metro Prosthetics, which serves the Baltimore and Washington D.C. areas.
“Dayton wanted to get more active than his prosthetics would allow. I thought we could help that,” said Haun.
Haun created prosthetic legs that included Flex Run feet by Ossur. The Flex Run feet are what allow Dayton to run.
“With the Flex Run, he can run and walk faster and he feels more comfortable in his prosthetics. Prior to that he still had a good outlook at life, he was still happy, energetic kid just trying to do things the best that he could,” said Natalie.
It’s pretty clear, the Webber family is grateful to have Dennis in their lives.
“If there’s anything that Dayton desires, Dennis will put his feelers out. And if he doesn’t already know how to create something for him, he will reach out to somebody else and make sure that it happens,” Natalie says.
“In fact, he helped design a shooting arm. It helps Dayton be able to pull the trigger on his gun or his bow when hunting.”
But don’t take it just from Natalie. Dayton knows.
“The prosthetics he’s made allow me to drive go-carts, golf carts, four wheelers, and dirt bikes. He’s given me prosthetics so I can run and do whatever, do everyday things. He’s given me arms so I can hunt, to shoot the gun and bows. I can run and jump. He’s helped me out a bunch,” said Dayton.
Haun has changed Dayton’s life.
“Dennis Haun relates with his clients and he tries to put himself in our shoes and think about what we would want, and what needs improvements and what he can do better. He’s always working to make it better,” said Dayton.
Natalie looks at it another way. Dennis has helped Dayton do what he loves to do.
And that’s a gift for Dayton and his mom.