Teen receives diploma while recovering in hospital from crash

Douglas "DJ" Coleman received his diploma from Carrollton High School while recovering in the...
Douglas "DJ" Coleman received his diploma from Carrollton High School while recovering in the hospital from a car crash.(Mary Free Bed)
Published: May. 25, 2023 at 4:25 PM EDT
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CARROLLTON, Mich. (WNEM) – A Carrollton High School student received his diploma while in recovery at a hospital following a crash.

The Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation facility at Covenant HealthCare said the high school senior Douglas “DJ” Coleman was involved in a crash that left him hospitalized and in need of three surgeries after he suffered serious injuries to his pelvis, bladder, and spleen. Coleman is still in recovery.

However, the incident didn’t stop him from receiving his diploma. Before Carrollton High School’s commencement ceremony took place Thursday evening, May 25, school officials and hospital staff held a special ceremony for Coleman, the rehab facility said.

Carrollton High School Principal Ed Boell presented Coleman with his diploma while family, friends, and hospital staff cheered.

“I finally made it,” Coleman said. “After 17 years of learning, making it here is a really good accomplishment.”

Kara Duncan, a rehab liaison from Mary Free Bed, said she loves helping people get back to what they want to do.

“I was just so happy our team could help make it all come together,” Duncan said.

Carrollton Schools Superintendent Dr. Tiffany Peterson also showed her support for Coleman.

“One of the things we pride ourselves on at Carrollton is being a shining example of Cavalier pride,” said Peterson. “We believe DJ is an example of that pride. To be here today, and continue that legacy of excellence, is exactly what we are in education to do.”

Coleman and his family will watch a live stream of the school’s commencement ceremony from his room at Mary Free Bed, the facility said.

Coleman’s mother said he plans to become a nurse thanks to the care he received after the crash.

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