Wake up with a Smile

Join our newsletter

Brutal Car Crash Injures Grad The Day Before Commencement, She Gets Diploma Anyway.

Mackenzie finally accepts her diploma in a private ceremony.

Mackenzie Maier was supposed to graduate from Louisiana Tech University in a ceremony with her peers. Unfortunately, just a day before the big event, the student was involved in a serious car accident. Instead of walking the stage to accept her diploma, she was admitted to the hospital with spinal cord injuries. She had lost feeling in both legs.

Weeks later, Mackenzie is doing a lot better. Her doctors said that her speedy recovery is partly due to her own dedication to her rehabilitation treatments and exercises. While she’s still not able to walk unaided, she’s hopeful that she’ll get there. She told WDSU that, despite her injuries, her ambitions for the future haven’t changed. Her dream is to become a nurse in the pediatric intensive care unit.

Mackenzie Maier recovers after a serious car accident.
Video screengrab from WDSU

“Eventually, I just want to get back to where I originally had on my plans,” Mackenzie said. “Get back to where I can be a PICU nurse and be able to live out my career and hopefully one day travel and just do all the things I would have done if this accident wouldn’t have happened.”

In the meantime, Mackenzie finally got to experience her commencement. On Friday, the graduate donned her cap and gown for a private ceremony. She accepted her diploma in a wheelchair in front of her loved ones, bringing her a little closer to achieving her goals.

Mackenzie finally accepts her diploma in a private ceremony.
Video screengrab from WDSU

“It hasn’t been an easy one, by any means, but I’ve made it work,” the alum said of her recovery. “You know, each day you keep pushing and pushing, and I get stronger and stronger, and here I am.”

While Mackenzie’s story is inspiring, it’s even more incredible when you consider that this isn’t her first time recovering from a major medical incident. As a little girl, she was diagnosed with a type of brain cancer, which she was able to overcome with treatment.

You can find the source of this story’s featured image here.

Want to be happier in just 5 minutes a day? Sign up for Morning Smile and join over 455,000+ people who start each day with good news.