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NKC student perseveres to walk across graduation stage with classmates

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A North Kansas City teen celebrated a huge accomplishment Wednesday night, his high school graduation. But there was a time he and his family weren't sure he'd be able to walk across the stage.

Drew Witherspoon walked with his senior class Wednesday. Several months ago, Witherspoon had a sinus infection that quickly spread to his brain and required two surgeries and the removal of part of his skull.

But that wasn't all, he also developed sepsis, a blood infection that nearly killed him. But Drew made it and worked hard to get to this point with his senior class from North Kansas City High School.

Drew was all smiles before the ceremony began, having fun with friends who stood by him through several months of intense rehab. Drew had enough credits to graduate before he got sick and was able to focus on getting better. His goal: Walk across the stage with his friends.

But he says he couldn't have done it without his friends and family.

“They've been supportive through the whole thing and they were pretty much there every step of the way and I’m pretty sure they are 10-times more happy than I am,” he said.

Drew had the loudest reception in the crowd when he walked into the auditorium and then again when he received his diploma. Dozens of family and friends came from all over to celebrate.

Drew says he's off to barber school. Once he's done there, he wants to go to college and get a marketing degree. Considering what he's been through the past few months, teachers and administrators say that will be a breeze for him.

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