A high school senior with cerebral palsy surprised his classmates by walking across the stage at graduation, despite being confined to a wheelchair for his entire life.Hunter Wittrockdecided that when he received his diploma at Kingfisher High School in Oklahoma he was walking to get it and he worked hard for almost a year to make it happen.
To reach his goal, the 19-year-old went through extensive physical therapy and trained with two therapists a week to build muscle in his legs. He started with learning to stand for long periods of time and worked up to walking a few feet at a time, eventually mastering the 150-foot walk of the graduation stage.
Hunter kept his plan a secret from everyone, but he almost didn’t get to have his big reveal because the graduation ceremony was initially cancelled over coronavirus concerns. But at the last minute - just a day before the event was supposed to happen - the Governor of Oklahoma relaxed some restrictions and a social distancing graduation was back on. When Hunter took the stage and started walking, his dad,Jeff Wittrock, said the crowd went crazy and then silent as people wiped tears away. He says, “It was a wonderful, surreal moment and he was ecstatic.”