Making a wish come true!

—Dayne Detra receives a travel trailer to enjoy for years
CRESCO - Sometimes the word hero is relative.
For example, just a week ago, a group of local heroes (Cresco Police, Howard County Sheriff and Cresco Fire Department) helped make a wish come true for another hero, Dayne Detra.
The five-and-a-half year old has been fighting chronic lung disease since he was born. Although his parents, Jessica Dehning and Chris Detra, along with sisters, Kirsten Dehning and Angel Detra, have tried to give him a normal life, they still watched him go through and recover from six surgeries.
Saturday, March 13 was a seemingly normal day for Dayne. Some relatives came over to visit. It was a nice day, so they went in the front yard to watch him jump on the trampoline. 
Suddenly, the air was filled with sirens and flashing lights as two police cars, two sheriff’s deputy cars and a fire truck swung around the corner and stopped in front of Dayne’s house. The biggest surprise, though, came when his dad pulled up hauling a travel trailer — Dayne’s camper from Make-A-Wish Foundation!
“Our first choice was to go to Florida to Disney World,” said his mom. “But with all the restrictions, we wanted something else.”
She remembered going tent camping when the girls were younger. Unfortunately, that would not work for all the equipment Dayne needs to survive. So then the idea of a camper started percolating.
“Now Dayne can be involved in stuff and still have a safe place to go,” Jessica noted.
“I was worried when they were doing the parade,” she continued. “As soon as they pulled up, he held his breath and wasn’t breathing!” He started breathing  . . . and smiling . . . and smiling . . . and smiling soon enough.
Police Chief Tim Ruroden said, “It was nice to see the big smile on the little boy’s face as his dad delivered the camper to their house with the escort vehicles.”
Sheriff Tim Beckman agreed. “We turned on the sirens when we hit Fourth Avenue. He had one big smile on his face. It was all worth it when we saw that.”
The parade started at Camp Site RV on the west side of Cresco, where the family picked up the travel trailer. Ryan McCarville said, “When the proposal was brought up, we were going to do everything we could to make their dream come true.” 
Camp Site showed the family several different options, and they chose a bunk house type camper. In addition, the company donated a portion of the price.
Jessica makes sure everyone knows it is Dayne’s camper. She had a decal made especially for him. “When he was in the hospital, everyone called him Double D for Dayne Detra. He is big into ‘Toy Story.’ I put his name on it and DD.”
Tough times
It’s has been a long row to hoe to get to this point in time for the Dehning/Detra family.
Dayne was born on Oct. 20, 2015 at Regional Health Services of Howard County in Cresco. He weighed a healthy eight pounds, four ounces. But as soon as he was born, he wasn’t breathing very well and was turning blue. 
He was airlifted by helicopter to Gundersen Lutheran Hospital in LaCrosse, Wis. They couldn’t stabilize him, either, so they sent him by ambulance to Rochester. He was in three hospitals located in three different states in the first 11 hours of his life.
At six weeks he had a tracheostomy installed and he was tube-fed. He went into cardiac arrest two times.
Things are looking up
It’s been a slow process, but Dayne has slowly improved. His trach and feeding tube have been removed. Now he uses a nebulizer and is on oxygen, among other things.
He was even able to attend school, until COVID concerns shut the school down. He continues to do on-line learning with Mrs. Merkle but can hardly wait to get back to his friends.
Three years ago, the family applied for Make-A-Wish for a trip to Disney World but wanted to wait until he was a little older and could remember the experience. Then COVID hit, and the theme park shut down, along with everything else.
Looking back at their decision, the family thinks the travel trailer was the best choice. Instead of having just a few days of a Florida vacation, they will have continual memories being made as they go camping together and explore the area.
Since that Saturday afternoon, Dayne has been spending a lot of time in his second home. His mom noted, “We were going to sleep in there that Saturday night but didn’t. We did sleep there on Sunday night. He slept until 10:30 in the morning!”
He also goes out there for an hour or two every day. “Luckily there is heat in there,” Jessica said. “Sometimes we have to drag him out,” she laughed.
“Being able to grant a wish and giving the family and child a day of pure joy . . . it’s the best thing in the world,” said Make-a-Wish Foundation’s Mason City volunteer, Nancy Lund.
She and co-worker, Mindy Farland, along with some local heroes, shared in that moment of pure joy.
You can help others experience the best day of their life by Googling to Make-A-Wish Iowa to make a donation.
More pictures on Page 2.

Cresco Times

Phone: 563-547-3601
Fax: 563-547-4602

Cresco TPD
214 N. Elm Street
Cresco, IA 52136

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