If there is anything you think you can’t do, meet Patrick Ivison. He’s a 17-year-old paraplegic who vowed to get out of his wheelchair and walk across the stage at his high school graduation. And this week, he did just that. Watch the video and be prepared with some tissues.
Ivison, a senior at Scripps High School in San Diego, was just 14-months-old when he was run over by a car. That accident injured his spinal cord so severely that he was paralyzed from the waist down. He has spent the last 16 years in a wheelchair.
But he never let his disability hold him back. Ivison learned to kayak, ski, hand-cycle marathon-length distances and play rugby. The determined teen even learned to surf and went to Costa Rica twice to film a surf documentary and compete in the U.S. Open of Surfing for five years in a row.
And just this week, Ivison accomplished another one of his goals: walking across the stage to accept his diploma at his high school graduation.
To prepare for his big walk, the teen spent up to six hours a day in physical therapy to strengthen his muscles and coordination. The months leading up to graduation were stressful, both physically and mentally, as reported on his blog:
I’m actually pretty nervous. There’s going to be a lot of pressure.
But that didn’t stop him. On Tuesday night, aided by a custom-made walker with his service dog by his side, Ivison stoood up. And in front of a standing cheering crowd, he walked to accept his diploma.
Talk about inspiration to achieve our own goals!
Take a look at his amazing accomplishment: