At Andover Central High School students marched up to the stage to receive an Ace Award recognizing excellence of character or academics, but there's one student missing from the stage. His name is Jacob Harris and he has spent his entire senior year in a Kansas City hospital.
“He's grown up a lot since he's been in the hospital. One of the things he told us when he came out of sedation and we talked to him he said he's going to miss his whole senior year,” said Jacob’s dad Randy Harris.
Harris has a heart condition, and in the eighth grade he nearly lost his life to it. A nurse helped save him in those crucial moments when he collapsed to the ground and today she recognizes him for his strength of character.
“He has had one obstacle after another since that time but has not given up hope. He continues to be one of the bravest teenagers I have ever met,” said the nurse.
Doctors had to amputate his leg to keep him going. Now he has spent the last 8 months waiting for a heart transplant.
“The wait is the hardest. Not knowing when we can get that call. Not knowing what we have to go through next so we can get to that step,” said Jacob’s mom Rebecca Harris.Despite hardship, Jacob is determined to graduate like other seniors at Andover Central.
“He just stayed the course and kept up with his studies and he kept him entertained while he was there because it's pretty boring for him,” said Randy.
While he won't get to walk with everyone, his high school will broadcast him and the graduation in an internet live stream. His parents couldn't be prouder of his accomplishment.
“He's just my hero. He's done everything that they've told him to do. Anything they've asked him to do he's done,” said Rebecca.