AMHERST, N.Y. (WIVB) - More than 5,000 students walked across the stage on Sunday tocelebrate years of hard work.
U.B. held its 164th annual commencement ceremony at AlumniArena.
Among the thousands of graduates, UB wrestler Dan Bishop walkedacross the stage on his own to receive his diploma.
He's not only celebrating his graduation, he's celebrating hismobility and remarkable recovery.
Walking across stage alone was a goal he set for himself after awrestling accident left him temporarily paralyzed two monthsago.
"At first my therapist said, 'well you might have to get pushedacross the stage in a wheelchair' because we didn't know if I'd beup and walking at all within a year," Dan explained.
But Dan, being the fighter that he is, was determined to leavethe wheelchair behind.
"I was like, I'm gonna do it, watch, I just kept telling them,"expressed Dan. "I'm gonna walk across on my own two feet, smiling,and getting that diploma."
Dan said physical therapy, support, and prayer helped him meetthat goal.
"Today is one of the best days of my life," he exclaimed.
A far cry from the way he felt back in March, when was competingat the Mid-American Conference Wrestling Tournament in Michigan. Hewas dropped on his head and remembers not being able to feel hisarms or legs.
"When I was on the stretcher, I tried to give a thumbs up to thecrowd and I couldn't do it or move anything!"
His father said had it not been for the quick medical attention,he could still be paralysed today.
His father explained, "It's a sport and anything can happen toanyone at any given time."
Dan spent weeks at Sunnyview Rehabilitation Hospital near hishome in Schenectady.
He started walking on his own in mid-April.
He and his family said the support they've received isoverwhelming.
"This is a huge family, from basketball, softball, baseball.Everybody supported him and kept telling him to hang in and keepstriving."
Dan recalled, "I had a girl from South Korea message me and sayshe had a 400 person prayer group in South Korea!"
And they said thank you to God for this enormous feat.
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