Chantee Lans : June 7 2011
Asheboro, NC -- Thousands of high school students across the Piedmont Triad will walk across the stage in June.
Many are thankful to be able to start the next chapter of their lives by going to college.
One student who WFMY News 2 talked to said she's just happy to be alive.
Tierra Smith, 18, of Asheboro, has survived brain damage. She was diagnosed with shaken baby syndrome when she was 11-months-old. After eight days on life support, doctors took her off the machines and prepared her mother for the worse, but Smith was a fighter.
Her biological father was convicted for child abuse. Now, 17 years after coming off of life support and in a coma, Smith will graduate Thursday from Southwestern Randolph High School.
Her mother Sharon Smith said it's a moment she wasn't sure if she would ever see.
"She's not even supposed to be here, she's not even supposed to be able to walk and talk and she's going to graduate," her mother described in amazement. "It's a little bit of peace in my heart that she can walk across that stage."
"I thank God when He put her in that coma and he let her come out and took her off life support, I believe he left her with what she's supposed to have," said Smith.
Tierra Smith plans to enroll at Randolph Community College in the fall to study nursing.