NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - We all learn how to walk at a young age. Right over left. Left over right. As seniors across the Lowcountry receive their high school diplomas, one young man's walk across the stage Thursday has a deeper meaning.
"That felt good," says Adonis Blake, minutes after receiving his GED.
Two years ago, the Baptist Hill High School student was walking to football practice. In just minutes, his life changed forever.
"It was a fight," says Blake. "One big huge fight."
Blake never made it to the field that day. He was offered a ride by two teenagers in a van.
While driving, the two teens attacked Blake and threw him from the vehicle. Leaving his body on the side of the road in downtown Hollywood, SC. Blake says he laid there with a broken hip, pelvis and major head injuries.
Then he woke up.
More than 40 days later, Blake came out of a coma when pieces of his skull removed because his brain had swelled. His body was battered. His mother by his side.
Slowly Blake started making progress. Soon he was in a wheel chair. Then a walker.
His goal: to walk again.
"He's tough. He's real tough," says his cousin Tyrike Blake. "That's the one thing I learned in the two years since his accident. He is very tough."
Through more than 10 surgeries, his cousin and mother, Shirley, stayed at his bedside. Never doubting he'd walk again.
"I seen this day coming from day one," says his mother Shirley Blake. "It was hard, but I believe in god."
And in Adonis.
"He did it all by himself," says his mother, referencing his walk across the stage at graduation. "That's the wonderful thing about it."
Without a wheelchair, without his walker and cane, Adonis Blake received his diploma at the North Charleston Performing Arts Center Thursday. On his 19th birthday, classmates and a sea of families gave him a standing ovation.
Because he says his journey isn't over. He's taking everyday, step by step.