Student Who Was Told He'd Never Walk Again Graduates On His Feet Twice

When a seriously debilitating injury or illness darkens people's lives, they will often say that there were times when they were convinced it was all over.

And while they have understandable reasons for doing so, it doesn't exactly help when the doctors these individuals talk to make it clear just how unlikely it is that they'll ever live the way they used to again.

But as time marches on, so does medical science. And it's true that it's important not to see recent advancements as cure-alls, but some people who were once told they would never walk or even move again have seen incredible results from stem cell treatments and brain-controlled exoskeletons.

Not only does this describe the situation that led one young man to walk across the stage at his graduation after that once seemed impossible, but he wants to do his part to ensure even more people can one day experience the same triumph.

Several months into his first year at Florida International University, Venezuelan-born student Aldo Amenta suffered a life-threatening accident.

According to People, he dove into the shallow end of a pool in 2015 and broke his neck.

And while he was able to survive after he drowned and his heart stopped during the ordeal, doctors told him that he was now a quadriplegic and he would never walk again.

The challenges that came from this incident were heavy enough that he considered dropping out of college, but they continued to affect him after he decided against that.

As Amenta said, "Now, I depend on a lot of people to help me do my daily activities. So, that's become a huge challenge in just my everyday life."

But with the help of his friends, family, and a scholarship program known as FIU's Ignite Campaign, Amenta pushed through and earned his bachelor's degree in electrical engineering in 2018.

Not only that, but he would end up actually walking across the stage to get his diploma with the help of the robotic exoskeleton device we see here and his physical therapist Guy Romaine.

And as the crowd cheered him on and Romaine accompanied him once again, Amenta stepped out of his wheelchair for yet another graduation.

This time, however, he had attained a master's degree in biomedical engineering. And he one day hopes to use the knowledge he's gained and his own experiences to create new technologies to help others living with spinal injuries.

He's also hopeful that he can fully recover and sees stem cell treatments and a stimulator implant as his best chance to do so.

But that doesn't mean he hasn't taken time to appreciate what he's just achieved.

In his words, "This is one of the biggest moments of my life. Super excited, grateful, so glad to be here."

As for his graduation walks, Amenta is hoping that they inspire people to see themselves as "limitless" with the right determination.

As he put it, "I wanted to walk across the stage like my fellow graduates to show that we are all equally capable of achieving anything we set our minds to, regardless of background, culture, conditions or age."

The full video of his latest achievement is available here.

h/t: People

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