A high school senior who was shot in the head two months ago surprised his classmates this week at their graduation ceremony.
According to Yahoo News, Northwestern High School senior Balaal Hollings was shot in the head at a party two months ago. Hollings, who was a football star and an honor student, didn’t return to the school for the remainder of the year.
Hollings had enough credits to graduate, however, and, on Tuesday, he came back to the school to collect his diploma.
ABC reports that doctors weren’t planning on releasing Hollings until mid-June, but the high school senior was determined to complete his rehab in time for graduation.
Hollings’ sister, Nuballa, said: “He advanced way faster than we thought that he would … He was just fighting so hard. He looked up, and it was like, ‘Oh my God, it’s my brother again!'”
Hollings, who was also the class president, gave a short speech during the ceremony. The high school senior told his classmates that he was glad to be alive and joked about how the gunshot took away his ability to walk but not his ability to eat.
Hollings said: “First of all, I want to thank God. It is so good to be alive … I got shot in the head, and I am fully rehabilitated. I forgot a lot of stuff. I forgot how to walk. I forgot how to talk. I didn’t forget how to eat!”
Hollings has received more than $50,000 in academic scholarships and will be studying Law or Criminal Justice next year at Lakeland College in Sheboygan, Wisconsin.