Boy Survives Getting Crushed By A Wall Of Bricks During The Napa Quake

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Nicholas Dillon, and the chimney that collapsed onto of him inside his Napa home. (Photo courtesy of the Dillon family)

Nicholas Dillon, and the chimney that collapsed onto of him inside his Napa home. (Photo courtesy of the Dillon family)

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NAPA (CBS) — In the wake of Sunday’s 6.0 earthquake in Napa, there is an amazing story of survival.

As homes and businesses shook, bricks went flying all over Napa that morning. The bricks on the fireplace inside a home on Eva Lane were no exception.

That’s where 13-year-old Nicholas Dillon was hosting a sleepover when the shaking started. He was sound asleep on a mattress according to his aunt, Carmen Rosales.

“He was lying, his head was toward the fireplace, when he felt the first jolt,” said Rosales. She said Nicholas tried to get clear of the falling bricks, but couldn’t.

“He jolted upwards to reach for his friend, yell his name, and as he was crawling away, with the shaking, the bricks fell on him, on his lower back.”

The soccer player’s pelvis was crushed.

The teen was rushed first to Queen of the Valley Hospital in Napa. Then, he was life-flighted to UC Davis Children’s Hospital in Sacramento where he underwent 10 hours of surgery to put his pelvis back together with screws plates and pins.

“The doctors have said for the type of fracture it was… a severe fracture, a lot of weight had to fall on him…” said Rosales.

Back in 2000, an earthquake cracked the fireplace in the home. It was repaired and reinforced, but it peeled off the wall anyway during Sunday’s shaker.

A 4.0 G.P.A. student, Nicolas was alert enough to make sure he’s covered academically while recovering. He asked the surgeon prior to his operation, “when can I get a slip, a form to tell my school that I’m not going to be coming in?”

Doctors finished the boy’s surgery on Monday around 10 a.m. According to his aunt, when he woke up, he said “I am never sleeping on that floor again.”

His parents have vowed to tear down that fireplace once and for all.



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