- A hockey injury left Jake Thibeault paralyzed from the waist down.
- Jake made a promise to walk and receive his diploma and so he endured months of therapy and rehabilitation to make it.
- On graduation day, as his name was called out loud, he walked with leg braces to receive his diploma.
Graduating from high school is a milestone. And to accept one’s diploma using a walker and braces is a feat.
Milton Academy senior Jake Thibeault was left paralyzed from the waist down after a hockey injury. Last September, at an Eastern Alliance Kickoff game, he suffered a mild brain hemorrhage and spine fractures paralyzing him from the waist down.
A promise made and kept as @MiltonAcad_puck player Jake Thibeault walks to accept his diploma today in front of classmates and teammates just nine months after a devastating on ice injury. pic.twitter.com/jmSr4GGiSS— Bulldog Hockey U18 (@crobahh_1) June 10, 2022
He was told he might not be able to walk again but he was determined to graduate and walk across the stage to receive his diploma. According to his father, Mike Thibeault, during an interview with the NBC Boston last fall, Jake was ready to fight no matter how “very slim” his chances were of walking again.
With an unbroken spirit, Jake doggedly went through therapy at UMass Memorial Medical Center, then at the Charlestown Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital and rehabilitation at Journey Forward in Canton. His progress was monitored by the hockey community in Massachusetts which includes Matt Grzelcyk of the Boston Bruins.
And so, on graduation day, while arriving in a wheelchair, Jake received his diploma using a walker and leg braces as his name was read out loud.
The video was proudly posted by Jake’s old teammates from the Boston Bulldogs which was shared by his hockey team.
Knowing how the community is rooting for him and coupled with his determination to fulfill his promise to walk to receive his diploma, Jake was a shining example of how the body might be weak but the spirit unbroken. May we all be inspired by Jake Thibeault’s unbroken spirit. Forge on, Jake!