ROCKY RIVER, Ohio – Mysha DeJong of Rocky River beat the odds.
In a little more than two weeks, the 18-year-old honor student will accomplish something many thought would never happen: she is graduating on-time, with her class, after undergoing major surgery to have the left side of her brain removed.
DeJong says, “It was really difficult because I had puberty changes like that going on and you deal with that and school work and brain surgery and that’s never easy. ”
Mysha was born with a brain malformation – a rare condition that caused her to have frequent, debilitating seizures.
“She was taking about 27 pills a day. Her brain was in a constant state of seizure, not always physically, but the brain itself seized and it made her unable to learn, unable to function,” says Mysha’s mother Melissa Holman.
After years of seeing various doctors across the country, Mysha ended up at the Cleveland Clinic. And just four years ago, at the beginning of her freshman year, Mysha went under the knife with doctors removing a part of the brain that controls speech and vision. The life-saving surgery was a success and Mysha was determined to get better quickly.
Holman says, “She started physical therapy the day after surgery and less than 24-hours later she sat up for the first time.,
Mysha also started hitting the books, doing classwork from home and keeping up with her peers, while dealing with the loss of 50-percent of her vision and with her right arm paralyzed.
DeJong attended prom just a few days ago, and is now looking forward to donning that cap and gown.
Holman says “Right now we’re still in disbelief that we’re gonna see her walk across that stage.”
“I’m not always the strongest person, but I’ve made it through a lot and I’m really grateful that I am where I am at this point in my life,” says DeJong.
Mysha will be receiving her diploma with the rest of her Rocky River class at the Lakewood Civic Auditorium on June 5th. She hopes to attend community college after graduating and eventually attend a four-year college.