RICHMOND, Virginia (WJW) — It was an emotional moment at Reynolds Community College as 25-year-old Khalil Watson — who became paralyzed by a shooting seven years prior — walked across the stage at his graduation ceremony Monday.
According to reports from WVTR in Richmond, Watson was shot in the neck and back the week before his senior prom in 2016, missing both the dance and his high school graduation while spending months in the hospital.
As seen in the video, with help from a robotic exoskeleton from Sheltering Arms Physical Therapy, Watson stood up to a standing ovation, walked across the stage and accepted his associate’s degree diploma.
“Khalil’s resiliency is an inspiration to us all. We congratulate him and the 1,446 graduates of the Reynolds Class of 2023!” the college tweeted out Tuesday.
WVTR reports that Watson will soon attend Virginia Commonwealth University for his bachelor’s degree and later master’s degree in social work.