Like teen injured by falling chimney, Napa continues recovery from quake

NAPA, Calif. (KTVU) -- It's been six months since the earth shook and the city of Napa and surrounding communities suffered major damage. But now, as the city continues on the road to recovery, so too does its most severely injured resident.

There are still plenty of open wounds around Napa. And while the frustrations continue for some, as a community, perhaps with a teenage boy leading the emotional way, Napa is rebounding strong.

As he walks across his high school campus, you might never know what 14-year old Nick Dillon has been through.

"You know, being stuck in a wheelchair, not being able to come to school," Nick remembered.

In the 6.0 earthquake that rocked the area on August 24th, Nick's pelvis was crushed when the family's brick fireplace fell on top of him.

"It hurt. It hurt a lot. I mean, sometimes I can remember that night; what it was like. I can picture it in my head," said the teen. "It was crazy. Like I said, I wouldn't want that to happen to anybody."

Doctors told him he wouldn't walk for six months, but he proved them wrong, getting back on his feet in half that time three months ago. In fact, he's now running and even playing a little soccer, his favorite sport.

"They told me six to seven months, I was like 'No, that's too long for me. No way,'" said Nick. "With a positive attitude and a smile on my face, I'm going to get through this, and I'm going to do it."

Just like Nick is rising from the ashes of his injury, so too is the city of Napa, although completing the repairs is still taking time.

"I would think that if you had relatively minor damage, you've been fixed up for quite some time. If you have major damage, it may be half the people who have major damage who are still waiting for the final repairs to be done," said the Napa Community Outreach Coordinator Barry Martin.

153 buildings and homes remain red-tagged. Martin says part of the problem is that there are not enough contractors here to do the work.

At Sala Salon, most of the $70,000 in damage has been repaired. But it has been tough getting to this point.

"We're just continuing, we're going to make it through this, it's just going to take some time. When this first happened, someone told me, be prepared," said Sala's owner, Sandina Bailo. "This is a long haul. It's going to be a year, and I was kind of surprised at that. And now I realized, they knew what they were talking about Some people said it feels like the quake was just yesterday, but that it also feels like it was a lifetime ago."