- Obama takes aim at ‘corporate deserters’
- Dick’s Sporting Goods lays off 478 PGA golf pros
- Senators: Cease-fire must allow Israel to defend against rockets, tunnels
- Sierra Leone doctor fighting Ebola catches disease
- Iraq welcomes Russian fighter jets, helicopter gunships into ISIL fight
- John McCain laments: Obama’s ‘self-pity … is really kind of sad’
- GOP offer to fix VA gives $10 billion in emergency funds
- Paul Ryan offers to repair U.S. economic safety net with a single grant stream
- Kim Jong-un builds bond with Putin: $250M Russia-backed addition to key port opens
- Pope Francis meets Meriam Ibrahim, a Sudanese woman sentenced to death
High school senior graduates at Houston hospital
Question of the Day
HOUSTON (AP) - Late in the evening on May 9, Harrison Bowe was overcome by abdominal pain so strong he collapsed. Home alone, the 19-year-old called 911, crawled out onto the street so paramedics could find him and take him to a Houston hospital just in time.
At the worst possible time for a high school senior.
“Before prom. Before finals. Before all the important things,” Bowe said Saturday, a grin spreading across his face, the tassel from his red graduation cap flopping forward.
On the outside, Bowe looks like any high school senior - straight brown hair falls long over his ears and neck, his face is unwrinkled, his brown eyes are bright and curious. Inside, though, is evidence of the rare birth defect that nearly robbed Bowe not only of high school graduation but of life.
Bowe was born with a non-functioning bladder. Between the time he was 8 weeks old to the time he was 5 years old, he underwent a dozen operations until doctors were able to create a bladder from his intestine, explained Nancy Schnell, Bowe’s mother.
Although he still had to self-catheterize, Bowe has been relatively healthy since, attending school and enjoying time with his family and friends.
Until May 9, when for reasons yet unknown, the makeshift bladder sprung a rare leak, infecting his abdomen with toxic bacteria. Bowe went into septic shock and acute renal failure, said Dr. Lee Morris, the surgeon at Houston Methodist Hospital who conducted the emergency operation that saved Bowe’s life.
For five days in the intensive care unit, Schnell was focused on her son’s survival.
Bowe, though, had his eye on the prize.
“My first concern was school,” Bowe told the high school principal and counselor Saturday, explaining how, while he was still in the ICU, hooked up to a ventilator and unable to speak, he jotted down instructions about who to call at Bellaire High School so he could graduate.
“Your health is No. 1,” counselor Paige Talhouni responded with a smile.
Bowe’s high school diploma rested beside him, balloons with congratulation messages tied to his wheelchair. Pausing for a selfie with principal Michael McDonough, Bowe said he still wanted to thank his teachers, who had allowed him to forgo his final exams because he had straight As.
“I felt honored,” Bowe said, looking at McDonough, Talhouni and the district registrar who had come to the hospital to confer his diploma hours before his 700 classmates attend the official graduation. “All these people are going out of their way to graduate me.”
“He’s already earned this. We’re not going to let this get in the way,” his mother said, gesturing at the wheelchair and hospital surroundings. “In four years we’ll be going to a graduation at A&M;,” she added, referring to Bowe’s intention to study computer engineering at Texas A&M; University.
TWT Video Picks
By Michael Widlanski
Leveling the battlefield to aid terrorists enables evil to fight on
- 'We're coming for you, Barack Obama': Top U.S. official discloses threat from ISIL terrorists
- Obama orders Pentagon advisers to Ukraine
- NAPOLITANO: What if our democracy is a fraud?
- Hamas rejects Kerry's call for cease-fire; Fears grow others could join fight against Israel
- Norway expects imminent 'concrete threat' from ISIL terrorists 'within days'
- State Department indicates Nouri al-Maliki's days numbered as Iraq prime minister
- Evidence shows Russia firing artillery into Ukraine: Pentagon
- Algerian plane diverted due to storms, second aircraft: 116 missing
- Russia sends Iraq fighter jets, helicopter gunships for ISIL fight after meeting in Moscow
- Tom Petty: 'No one's got Christ more wrong than the Christians'
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq