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Bells teen takes to the field after being shot

By: Nicolette Schleisman Email
By: Nicolette Schleisman Email

BELLS, TX -- One Bells teenager is defying all the odds to take the field with his high school football team.

It may be hard to imagine now, looking at Dayton Daniel, that doctors told him he'd never play this game again.

2 years ago, Dayton's brother was cleaning a shotgun when it went off. Blasting through the wall, and hitting Dayton in the left arm.

Now, after more than 40 surgeries, he's doing what many called impossible.

"It's just really an honor cause as a freshman that's a big thing, to basically anybody. And the team's great and they welcomed me in and everything. I'm just glad I can be out there helping my teammates," said Dayton Daniel.

At the time of his injuries, doctors thought his arm would have to be amputated.

"He's always been athletic and to see him lay up in the hospital for 3 months. It was rough," said Bubba Daniel, Dayton's father.

But thanks to therapy and a strong will, he has his arm, and the field.

Now, number 8 is a varsity starting linebacker who's inspiring his teammates and his family.

"Anytime you come through something like that and other kids see him and other kids see him come through adversity he did, that's something. I think the other kids admire him and really look up to him," said Randy Hitsman, Bells High School football head coach.

"He's just been a great example, not only to our other athletes, but to the school as well and the rest of the students," said Dan Crawford, Bells High School principal.

"It was a challenge the first couple games - getting the snot knocked out of me and everything, but I can live through it," said Dayton.

And he says his experience has taught him to always keep the chains moving forward.

"I'm just thankful about life and everything, now seeing everything can be taken away from you in a split second," said Dayton.


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