The graduating class at a Michigan high school thought they lost one of their most prominent classmates to a tragic shooting earlier this year.
But the student had a big surprise for his classmates on graduation day.
Kim Russell has the story of one exceptional student's battle to overcome tragedy.
On April 6th, Northwestern High School senior Balaal Hollings went to a party. When a fight broke out, the honor student, football star, student council and senior class president tried to break it up.
Then there was gunfire.
A bullet hit Balaal in the head.
There's someone out there who did this and is living life like it's nothing, and my brother is sitting there everyday fighting.
Balaal didn't make it back to the school to finish his senior year.
Today, nearly two months after that shooting his class at northwestern high school gathered as a class for the last time at the millennium center in Southfield for the class of 2013 graduation ceremony.
As his classmates prepared for the ceremony, Balaal was not in line.
Balaal was busy making big plans.
Nobody knows–it's going to be a surprise.
The ceremony didn't start on time. the graduates who had been through so much wondered if something was wrong — and then this happened.
First of all, I want to thank god. it is so good to be alive. I got shot in the head and I am fully rehabilitated.
I forgot a lot of stuff: I forgot how to walk, I forgot how to talk…I didn't forget how to eat.
Balaal then sat on the stage and did something some would call miraculous. He graduated with his class.
And when it came time to make it official, Balaal didn't miss a beat.