Despite facing numerous challenges, including starting high school in a wheelchair, Collin Langston defied the odds and walked across the stage to collect his graduation award, eliciting a standing ovation from the entire arena.
Twitter | @officialSPS
In an awe-inspiring display of determination and perseverance, 18-year-old Collin Langston achieved his goal against all odds. When he began high school four years ago, he relied on a wheelchair for mobility. However, on his graduation day, which took place on May 17, he amazed everyone as he walked across the stage. The heartfelt moment was captured on video and shared on the official Twitter page of Springfield Public Schools.
Twitter | @officialSPS
The video, accompanied by the caption, “Collin Langston walked at his high school graduation. When the @GHSEvents senior started high school four years ago, he had never left his wheelchair.
Today, the entire arena stopped and cheered as he walked,” portrays the joyous scene of Langston confidently striding to receive his award while the crowd erupts in applause and cheers. It was a proud and emotional moment for him, receiving recognition and admiration from everyone present.
So proud of Collin!— Steve Wanicke (@SteveWanicke) May 20, 2023
Langston was born with arthrogryposis, a congenital disorder characterized by joint contractures throughout the body. The condition arises due to limited movement in the womb, resulting in the development of excess connective tissue that restricts joint mobility. Langston shared his journey, stating, “Before my surgeries, I didn’t think it was a possibility, but now that I have built up my strength, I have the ability to do that.”
Throughout his academic journey, Langston received essential support, including a full-time nurse named Nikki Digger, who assisted him during his time at Hickory Hills Elementary and Middle School. However, by the end of eighth grade, Langston’s legs had become severely bent, making it challenging for him to use a wheelchair.
Seeking expert advice, Langston’s parents consulted a specialist in Florida who recommended surgeries to straighten and strengthen his legs. Determined to help their son, they decided to proceed with the surgical procedures.
After relocating to Florida, Langston underwent two surgeries, one on each leg. The procedures involved breaking his legs, shortening his femur by three inches, and securing the bones with pins to facilitate healing. Additionally, “super knee” implants were installed in each leg. Langston accessed his school curriculum through a program designed for students who were unable to attend school due to medical or other reasons.
Working with Langston since his childhood, Digger emphasized the blessings of home-based learning during his freshman and sophomore years, which allowed him to pursue his studies. Moreover, Langston underwent extensive physical therapy, utilizing the pandemic period to strengthen his physical capabilities. Digger described the progression from small steps with a custom walker to walking short distances with assistance and finally relying on a forearm crutch. The achievements were remarkable, as Langston’s mobility and independence gradually improved.
Collin Langston walked at his high school graduation. ✔️— Springfield Public Schools (@officialSPS) May 20, 2023
When the @GHSEvents senior started high school four years ago, he had never left his wheelchair.
Today, the entire arena stopped and cheered as he walked.
Collin, you show that #FlockisFamily. pic.twitter.com/lCk3UXXdSf
Langston surpassed the goals set for him in physical therapy, demonstrating his resilience and refusal to let obstacles hinder his progress. Digger commended his determination, saying, “He doesn’t let things stop him, and whatever we see that he can’t do, we step in and help. But he has become so independent.” Langston returned to Glendale High School at the start of his junior year, where he actively participated in academic and extracurricular activities, including the National Honor Society and the yearbook staff. Despite typing with only two fingers, he excelled academically, achieving an impressive weighted GPA of 4.6 out of 5.0.
Collin Langston’s remarkable journey serves as an inspiration to all, reminding us of the incredible power of determination, resilience, and the human spirit. His graduation day triumph stands as