By Debbie Gregory.
At Operation MEND, we usually focuses on military/veteran themed inspiring stories, but this one was just too good to pass up.
A Ravenna, Ohio teenager, who has cerebral palsy and was never expected to be able to walk, shocked her family and friends by doing just that at her high school graduation.
Although doctors had given Lexi Wright’s parents little hope that their daughter would survive longer than a few days after her birth, let alone grow up and graduate from high school, Lexi proved everyone wrong. With a great big exclamation point!
The 19-year-old left her wheelchair and used a walker to cross a stage in her cap and gown to accept her diploma to the surprise of her family, friends and fellow classmates.
Principal Beth Coleman said Lexi had been practicing all year.
The teen said she simply wanted to surprise her family and was stunned by the thunderous applause and standing ovation.
Lexi just wanted to surprise her family, and the graduation ceremony seemed to be the best place and time.
Dede, Lexi’s mom, was overcome with emotion as she watched her daughter walk for the first time.
“I was bawling my eyes out,” Dede said, tearing up remembering the scene. “I couldn’t even cheer her on because I was bawling so much.”
“I knew nothing about it until they started to move her feet (support) on her wheelchair, then I knew something was happening,” Dede said. “When she received a standing ovation, that melted my heart.”
Lexi’s father, Terry, was at his vantage point, waiting to take a photo.
“Her classmates cheered her the entire way,” said Principal Coleman.
Lexi said she was surprised by the standing ovation.
“At first I was nervous, but then as I walked I was really happy.”