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Special needs student defies odds, walks at graduation

Graduation at Ozark High School included a big surprise for everyone as a student with a neurological disorder walked...

Posted: May 17, 2018 2:14 PM
Updated: May 17, 2018 2:14 PM

Graduation at Ozark High School included a big surprise for everyone as a student with a neurological disorder walked to receive his diploma in front of thousands.

Senior, Connor McCormick attended public school for the first time this year at Ozark High School. His family never expected the surprise they would receive at his graduation.

"They got him in his walker and he just took off," Connor's mother, Melodie Dotson said. "[He] took off, walked right up to where he needed to go and got his diploma."

Connor's teachers helped him get out of his wheelchair and walk across the stage in front of 2,000 people who were all cheering him on.

"It was something that we wanted to be very special for his family," Ozark High School principal, Jordan Price said. "Every other student is walking across the stage and getting their diploma, no reason Connor shouldn`t do the same."

It was an emotional moment for Connor's loved ones as his family was told he would live past two-years-old. He was diagnosed with Lissencephaly, a severe neurological disorder and autism.

"We were basically told at the beginning that he would never be able to walk or talk or any of that stuff," Dotson said. "When they help him like this and applaud, it`s just really touching to see it. We cried and I cried. [It's] something that we never thought we were going to get to experience and see."

Another milestone for the 17-year-old who is known for making his classmates smile. Connor even tried on his cap and gown to celebrate the big day one more time.

"Connor was able to overcome a hug number of challenges," Price said. "He impressed us all but inspired us to go above and beyond what we think is impossible."

Now that high school is complete, Connor will attend the Franklin County Learning Center where he will be a part of the adult learning program.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 144544

Reported Deaths: 3729
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto963299
Hinds9584195
Harrison6848109
Jackson6124118
Rankin528598
Lee484295
Madison4633105
Forrest368186
Jones345287
Lauderdale3350143
Lafayette315049
Washington3097107
Lamar281849
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Neshoba2164115
Panola211749
Marshall208350
Leflore200890
Pontotoc194728
Monroe190277
Sunflower189755
Lincoln186165
Warren172257
Tate164251
Union160925
Pike160458
Copiah158940
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Scott150229
Itawamba147634
Coahoma147443
Pearl River144467
Simpson144253
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Prentiss140429
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Holmes124961
George122224
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Tishomingo106142
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Tallahatchie95527
Clarke88553
Clay87027
Jasper81122
Walthall75028
Stone72414
Montgomery71925
Calhoun71613
Carroll70614
Lawrence70214
Yalobusha69427
Noxubee69217
Smith68816
Perry65225
Tunica59619
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Claiborne57416
Jefferson Davis54217
Humphreys52618
Amite51214
Benton48417
Quitman4796
Webster42014
Kemper40917
Wilkinson38622
Jefferson33811
Franklin3235
Choctaw3077
Sharkey30617
Issaquena1114
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 236865

Reported Deaths: 3472
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson31043491
Mobile19446360
Tuscaloosa12684150
Madison12528146
Montgomery12122235
Shelby992276
Baldwin837684
Lee759765
Morgan626247
Calhoun6049113
Etowah600564
Marshall596153
Houston510838
DeKalb469635
Cullman421136
Limestone408844
St. Clair403955
Elmore398961
Lauderdale387253
Walker356199
Talladega339044
Jackson302524
Colbert297641
Blount282236
Autauga266139
Franklin246233
Coffee236615
Dale228454
Dallas222331
Russell21923
Chilton218537
Covington215933
Escambia196931
Tallapoosa171790
Chambers171448
Pike156014
Clarke155319
Marion135535
Winston126623
Lawrence123936
Geneva11848
Pickens117618
Marengo117424
Barbour116710
Bibb115717
Butler114341
Randolph100321
Cherokee99624
Hale93231
Washington89918
Clay89623
Fayette86216
Henry8436
Lowndes78929
Monroe77911
Cleburne75614
Macon71720
Crenshaw70330
Bullock69019
Conecuh68214
Perry6726
Lamar6337
Wilcox62818
Sumter56222
Choctaw41813
Greene41317
Coosa3144
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