A Black student completed her goal of walking across her Florida high school graduation stage just one month after a debilitating car accident, Good Morning America reports.
On April 18, a drunk motorcyclist rammed 18-year-old Khalia Carter as she was driving home from spending time with friends.
"I felt a big crash and my car was spinning and I couldn't control it. I couldn't control the wheel. I couldn't press the gas or the brake. Nothing was working," Carter told GMA. "After that, I got out the car and I just started screaming once it stopped."
As a result of the crash, Carter sustained a traumatic brain injury, a mobility disorder, speech impairment, post-traumatic stress disorder, and other injuries that left her unable to walk independently.
Despite all of her mental and physical injuries, the Florida teen made it her goal to walk at her upcoming high school graduation.
"I was determined. Nobody was going to stop me from doing that," Carter said."I knew, as soon as it happened, I told my mom in the hospital that I'm still going to go to graduation."
"After I was getting stronger every day, I decided, maybe it'd be surprising if I shocked everybody and walked across the stage and why not? So I pushed every day as hard as I can and gave 110% every day at therapy, to try to be able to walk across the stage," Carter continued.
With the help of her family, doctors, and a variety of therapists, Carter was able to receive her diploma along with the rest of her class at Fort Myers High School just four weeks after the traumatic crash.
Carter's mother, Shawnda Cook, said, "This was such a huge milestone. Khalia had so many odds against her." Cook added, "It's hard [for her] to be in a big crowded environment and so for her to take the initiative to go and be around such a large crowd was huge for her. So to see her take the initiative to do it and walk across that stage by herself? It was amazing."
The 18-year-old hopes to continue her recovery and attend Georgia Southern University this fall.
"I don't want to change my mind because I know that it's always been a dream so I'm going to try to stick to it and try to make it happen," Carter said.
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