A lifetime defying the odds - FOX 35 News Orlando

A lifetime defying the odds

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TAMPA (FOX 13) -

Tim Dutka has defied the odds since birth. Born with a debilitating illness, his amazing work ethic is an inspiration to all.

Marney Dutka's son Tim didn't move or respond the way other babies did.

"He was born stillborn, and the doctors resuscitated him," Marney said. "They told us that he would never be able to do anything, that we should just leave him and put him in a nursing facility."

His parents wouldn't hear of it, refusing to take their doctor's conventional wisdom at that time.

"He's had so many mountains to cross," Marney said. "He's had 27 surgeries in his life."

Raising a child with cerebral palsy and teaching him self-reliance has its worthwhile challenges. Now 42 years old, Tim works part-time at Home Depot, helping customers with an ever-present smile.

"He's always been that way even as a young child. He always smiled," Marney said.

Regulars see Tim every Tuesday and Thursday working the aisles, like he has for the past 20 years.

"Tim's great," Shawn martin of Home Depot said. "We always look forward to seeing him. He always comes to work with a positive attitude."

So much to celebrate and that's what Tim's co-workers and friends did Thursday to recognize his 20th anniversary on the job.

"They saw him first as a person. They didn't see the chair. They didn't see his disability. They look at him and saw him as a person," Marney said.

With determination and hard work, Tim is proof he and others can make valuable contributions.

"If all the people in the world would just had his attitude, just a spark of it, they could do anything," Tim's dad John Dutka said.

And do it with a smile.

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