Corey Borner promised his friends and family a surprise at his college graduation, and he delivered.
The 28-year-old Texan has used a wheelchair since suffering a spinal cord injury that left him paralysed in a high school football game in 2009. Borner studied communications at the University of North Texas at Dallas, and came up with an idea to make his graduation last Saturday even more of a big deal: He wanted to walk across the stage to collect his diploma.
A team from the Baylor Scott & White Institute for Rehabilitation outfitted him with a robotic exoskeleton suit, and he shocked his loved ones during the ceremony by walking for the first time since his injury.
It felt "amazing" he told WFAA, and he hopes others in similar situations "just stay encouraged. Tough times don't last long, tough people do."
For Borner, walking across the stage was the culmination of over a decade of work and only the beginning of his story. "I plan on continuing to be a motivational speaker and share my testimony to others," he said. "I made a promise to myself in 2009 that I will always keep my story alive."