Uplifting | Family

Mom Of Quadriplegic Student Gets Emotional Surprise At Graduation

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Imagine being a mother and finding out your son with a promising career is now paralyzed.

That's the reality Judy O'Connor had to face in 2012, after her son Marty fell down a flight of stairs just two years after earning an undergraduate degree from the University of Colorado.

Judy was living in Florida at the time, but when Marty found out he'd be doing physiotherapy 5 days a week in Southern California, she moved to be with him and help him through it.

Judith and Marty O'Connor

"After I got hurt, I didn't know which end was up. I didn't really have a direction," Marty O'Connor said. "I needed that mental challenge and wanted to add some professional value to myself."

Marty decided he was going to get his MBA, but his inability to use his hands would be a challenge.

"I didn’t know how going back to school without being able to write, or use my hands, or raise my hand in class, any of that, would go,” O’Connor told the Chapman University blog. “But I think it really kind of challenged me to do some introspection and see what strengths I do have to utilize, and how I can use my situation to work on some new strengths. This has really forced upon me some patients [sic] and thoughtfulness in everything I’m doing."

Judy, a business graduate of University of Notre Dame, returned to school with Marty and attended each of his classes.

Continue to the next page to see what Judy's surprise was!

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