A Kansas high school student who became paralyzed from the waist down following a gymnastics accident walked across the graduation stage to receive her diploma.
Anna Sarol, 18, got a standing ovation from her classmates and the crowd in attendance at Olathe Northwest High School's graduation ceremony on May 19. She walked with the assistance of braces, a walker and her siblings, according to ABC's Good Morning America.
"Everybody, almost the whole stadium, was crying," Louicee Sarol, Anna Sarol's mother, told ABC, adding the whole stadium was standing. "I looked back and parents are in tears of joy, all for Anna."
Anna Sarol told the news network that she made it a goal to walk across the graduation stage after a fall on the uneven bars left her paralyzed.
"I made a promise to myself that I'll be determined to walk the grad stage, if I could walk at that point," she said, adding that she practiced walking with her brothers and sisters before the graduation.
"I was very nervous, very anxious about the whole situation because my classmates haven't seen me walk since freshman year," she said. "I could hear the whole crowd, and I looked up and I saw everybody on their feet, including everyone in the stadium and everyone in my class. They all knew how hard I had been working towards this for the past couple of years."
Anna Sarol said that she would like to become a motivational speaker. She's also raising funds for a prosthetic exosekeleton, which would allow her to walk on her own.