Most high school seniors spend the last few weeks of their senior year celebrating with friends and preparing for graduation, however, one Missouri teen was forced to spend those final few weeks in the ICU and physical therapy after a tragic accident.
Just weeks before Lindbergh High School’s graduation, Brad Bauer was on a trip to Mexico with friends when he dove into a wave and broke his neck on a sandbar. Bauer injured his C4 and C5 vertebrae and was in the ICU, yet he decided he was not only going to walk again but he was going to walk at his graduation.
“From Day 1, he always had a little bit of stubbornness and determination,” mom, Laura Bauer, said. “It was rough at first. We all thought, ‘Maybe he’ll come back,’” the water polo coach, Andy Butler, said about the former team captain. “We gave him the strength to recover and he gave us the strength to get through it.”
Once out of the ICU, Bauer started physical therapy. And despite the odds, Bauer got up on stage on his graduation day with some help from a friend and managed to walk on his own two feet to get his diploma. “It was pretty rough,” said Bauer, who didn’t notice that everyone in the crowd stood up and gave him a standing ovation. “I was just focusing on my feet. I didn’t have a chance to look around.”
“I was speechless. There was so much emotion and pride, determination and attitude. All the support has been amazing,” Laura said.
Watch the entire video below to see the incredible moment this determined teen walked across the stage to get his diploma.
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[Featured image: Lindbergh High School]