As thousands of students across the country graduate from college, families from all walks of life are celebrating loved ones who have achieved an important milestone.
It takes hard work and dedication to cross be able to walk across that stage, but many students will readily admit that without the support of their families, their graduation wouldn’t have been possible.
For one family in California, this is exceptionally true.
Marty O’Conner was only 24 when he fell down a flight of stairs and became a quadriplegic. He decided after rehabilitation that he wanted to go to graduate school, but was unable to take notes because of his condition.
That’s where his mother, Judy O’Conner, stepped in to save the day.
Judy O’Connor attended every class with 29-year-old Marty O’Connor, taking notes for him as he worked toward his master’s of business administration degree at Chapman University.
Shortly after pushing Marty in his wheelchair across the stage, Judy was called out as a “special individual.” The crowd cheered.
The announcer became choked up as she read about the decision by the faculty, administration and board of trustees to award the elder O’Connor an honorary degree.
Marty had recommended to university faculty that his mother be honored with a degree, “because she deserved it so much.”
After learning of her son’s desire to go back to school, Judy relocated from Florida to California to help him achieve his goal.
“As a mom, you just want to help your kids get through things,” Judy O’Connor told KTLA. “I always believed in him. I knew he could do it and I just wanted to have his back.”
Her son also had some help from receiving the Swim With Mike scholarship. The $10,000 award is given to physically challenged students in honor of Mike Nyeholt, an All-American swimmer who became paralyzed after a motorcycle crash.
For Judy’s part, helping her son get his degree wasn’t a hard decision at all. “I’m a geek. I love being in school,” she said. “I’m not going to lie. I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.”
A mother’s love truly knows no bounds! Share this article with your favorite mother to brighten their day.