Mother receives surprise at son’s graduation

ORANGE COUNTY, Calif. (ABC NEWS/WJBF) – Judy O’Connor received a special surprise at her son’s graduation after attending class with him for two years.

Five years ago, 24-year-old Marty O’Connor was a college graduate with a job in sales. O’Connor spent his free time outside, playing volleyball, surfing and skateboarding.

Then he was injured after falling down a flight of stairs, becoming a quadriplegic.

Mrs. O’Connor knew she couldn’t fix her son’s situation, so she found a way to help him, instead.

She retired from her job teaching elementary school and moved to be with her son after he enrolled in an MBA program at Chapman University in Orange County, California.

Mrs. O’Connor then attended every class with her son, raising her hand when Marty wished to speak up and taking notes for him.

“When we went into class, I would just introduce myself, ‘Hello, I’m Judy. I’m Marty’s assistant’, and so it wasn’t ‘Hi, I’m Marty’s mom,” Mrs. O’Connor said.

Again, Mrs. O’Connor was right there beside her son on his graduation day. However, Marty wasn’t the only one to receive a degree.

The university shocked Mrs. O’Connor when they announced her name on the speaker, as well. She was touched when the school awarded her with an honorary MBA degree.


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