NASHVILLE, Tenn.- Dylan Dunford has a long road ahead, but nothing is as long as the one he's already traveled.
"It's just hard," Dunford explained. "I've never even broken a bone."
Now the 18 year old spends his days in rehab, undergoing hours of physical therapy.
"I'm trying to hurry up and get back home," he said.
In a split second on New Year's Eve things could have turned out differently. Headed to see a friend, Dunford said he must have been distracted when he rear ended a semi.
"I remember hitting the breaks," he recalls, "just tires squealing and a loud sound and that's it. I don't remember nothing after that."
Dylan fractured his wrist, lost vision in his right eye and broke bones in his foot. Even more serious was the damage the impact had on his heart, which required immediate surgery.
"At one point during the surgery doctors had his heart in the palm of his hand and was doing surgery repair," mother Trish Dunford explained, "…and he put it back."
Doctors told his mother few people actually survive Dylan's injuries.
"We were told the statistical numbers for being here and surviving the surgery was .001 (percent)."
Now Dylan says his pain gives his future even more purpose.
"It's crazy that I'm still here," he said.
"He's a miracle. He's an absolute miracle and that's my baby," his mother added.
Dylan is a senior at JoByrns High School in Springfield. His classmates are planning a fundraising dinner in his honor. It will take place on January 28th, at the schools AG Shop. It will also feature a cornhole tournament and silent auction. For more information call the school at 615-696-2251. All checks can be made out to the school.