Brad Bauer had been confined to a wheelchair since spring break, when he fractured two vertebrae in a freak accident while in Mexico with his family.
Bauer, captain of the Lindbergh High School water polo team, underwent surgery there. Then was taken to the intensive care unit at a Missouri hospital, according to St. Louis Today.
As he has continued his rehabilitation, walking across the stage was the only way the senior wanted to receive his diploma.
So, that’s what he did.
“I got to get up. I got to get to where I was and that’s how it’s got to be,” Bauer told KTVI.
To his classmates’ surprise, Bauer appeared at graduation in a wheelchair Tuesday. He got a standing ovation when he stood up and walked across the stage.
The community has rallied around Bauer, selling T-shirts and other items to help pay for medical costs.
“I always tell them life is 10 percent of what happens to you and 90 percent about how you deal with it,” coach Andy Butler told KTVI.