WEST DES MOINES, Iowa -- A Valley High School senior is celebrating years of doing his best.
Crossing the stage at the Knapp Center marked a major milestone for Tj Denham and the end of a long journey. The 20-year-old received his diploma from Valley on Sunday afternoon.
Denham suffered a severe brain injury in 2013 that crippled his body but left his mind intact. During his recovery process, his goal was to finish his schooling; now, that goal has been accomplished. Denham's parents walked across the stage with him, and--as expected--there were proud smiles all around.
"It's a big accomplishment, and it has shown us--and him--that he's able to do it. And it's shown a lot of people who didn't think he could return to school and finish, it's shown a lot of people that he can. So, you know, it feels pretty good to get this under our belt, and then we're looking forward to the next thing," said Tj's mother Kelly.
She also said this is something the entire family has been looking forward to for four years.