Hillsborough Co. student earns diploma less than a year after losing ability to walk and talk

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – It was an unforgettable moment for a Hillsborough County senior on Monday.

Hailey Highsmith graduated from Lennard High School. The achievement was almost nonexistent after her emergency almost a year ago.

Thanks to her determination, a little help from her physiotherapists and her cheerleaders, Highsmith made the near impossible possible, stepping across the stage to earn her high school diploma. learn.

“It’s an important moment in the life of any child and any parent, but especially after what Hailey has been through over the past year,” her mother Robin Highsmith said.

The senior at Lennard High School suffered a spontaneous brain bleed last June. She lost the ability to walk and talk.

Her recovery has been slow, and her family has decided graduation is not part of the plan this May.

All that changed a few months ago.

“In February or March, when her voice came back on and she was able to begin communicating again, we understood that she was able to read and write and that her cognitive ability, ability to understand and her speech will be fine. Highsmith said.

Hailey’s story is a true example of overcoming adversity. She worked with her physical therapists at John’s Hopkins Children’s Hospital in St.Petersburg.

“After this, there’s nothing she wouldn’t be able to take on and I think everything looks small when you compare it to what she’s been through in the last year,” Highsmith said.

Despite what it looks like now, Hailey already has plans for her future. She is on track to complete her college degree while duly enrolled. The hope is that her language and abilities will be further in the fall or spring so she can complete her undergraduate degree.

Then next fall, join her friends at UCF.

https://www.wfla.com/news/hillsborough-county/hillsborough-co-student-earns-diploma-less-than-a-year-after-losing-ability-to-walk-and-talk/ Hillsborough Co. student earns diploma less than a year after losing ability to walk and talk

Alley Einstein

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