After becoming paralyzed from a tragic accident involving a fall down a flight of stairs, Marty O’Connor decided to keep pursuing his dreams in life. When he enrolled in an MBA program at graduate school his mom decided to be the notetaker he couldn't be.
“After I got hurt, I kind of thought everything was lost and I didn’t really have a future,” Marty O’Connor said. “In the past two years, I’ve really found out how much I can still achieve. There are new strengths that I have that I didn’t have before," said Marty.
As an elementary shool teacher herself, Judy O’Connor knew exactly what it would take to help her son succeed in school. She decided to retire earlier so she could accompany him on his new journey.
Judy attended every class with Marty. She never introduced herself as his mother, but rather as his assistant. When it came time for the graduation day, her son and fellow teachers had a major surprise for her.
As they stopped for a graduation photo on the main stage, an announcement came over the loudspeaker: Judy O’Connor would receive an honorary MBA — a “thank you” from her son and the university, according to the video.
“It was a wonderful privilege to be able to do this for him,” Judy O’Connor said. “You get a spinal cord injury — I couldn’t fix it, but I could do this for him,” she said.
According to reports, it was Marty O’Connor’s idea to honor his mother. He and the university kept it a secret until graduation.
“She’s been instrumental in the past two years,” he said. “There’s no way I would have achieved my level of success without her," said Marty.
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