GRAND HAVEN, Mich. (WOOD) - Three years and one day after Garrett Bazany had a serious spinal cord injury while playing on the trampoline, he walked in front of his friends for the first time to get his high school diploma.
When Bazany stood and moved across the stage with the aid of a walker to receive his diploma from Grand Haven High School Thursday night, most of his classmates and teachers didn't know he was able to walk.
"It means a lot," Bazany told 24 Hour News 8.
Walking across the stage at his graduation has been his dream since he was 15.
"It kind of sums up all the hard work I've done in the last three years," he said. "I've just been trying every day to walk again."
On May 29, 2010, Bazany was playing on the trampoline in his back yard. He did a flip and landed in the middle of the trampoline on his neck, snapping a bone that was forced back into his spinal cord. He was paralyzed from the chest down instantly.
"I knew something was wrong right away," he said.
He dragged himself to the edge of the trampoline, reached down to grab his cellphone and called 911. When paramedics arrived, he was waiting for them calmly. After that, he said, "it was mostly a blur."
It has been a long road and a lot of work for Bazany to reach this point. Since the accident, he has been going through rehab, trying to build up strength in a pool and using a walker to practice.
He said he was looking forward to seeing the look on his friend's faces, especially a neighbor who has been a "second mom" to him.
Bazany will attend Calvin College next year. He said he wants either be a rehabilitation doctor or engineer, and help to develop technology that can be used to help injured people learn to walk again.
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