Leaving his wheelchair behind, EH senior is focused on the future


Senior Dalton Duffy strides through a hallway at Eastern Hancock High School. At 18, Duffy proved his doctors wrong by shedding the wheelchair he had depended on for much of his life. (Tom Russo/Daily Reporter)

Duffy was surprised to discover an interest in Scott Jacob's agriculture class. (Tom Russo/Daily Reporter)

CHARLOTTESVILLE — It doesn’t take long to figure out that Eastern Hancock High School senior Dalton Carter Duffy is a man of his own mind and that things are not always as they seem.

Relegated to a wheelchair for most of his life from the effects of central core disease, Duffy shed the contraption on his 18th birthday.

There was no miracle recovery – medical literature indicates there is no known cure for the relatively uncommon condition that affects and weakens the skeletal muscles near the center of the body – Duffy just decided he didn’t want the wheels.

At age 18, he felt he was old enough to decide for himself.

And that was that.

“I function well on my own, and under pressure,” he said.

He underwent a spinal fusion procedure four years ago that left him paralyzed down his right side.

“The doctors told me the chances of me walking again were very slim,” he recalls. “But I proved them wrong within two years.”

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