Vancouver teen recovering from stroke makes triumphant graduation walk

Photo: Vancouver Public Schools

Walking across the stage during graduation is something most teenagers take for granted. It was nearly impossible for Jessica Beckman.

"It was kind of scary," said Beckman.

Beckman suffered a stroke three years ago. She has struggled to recover ever since. Although she's made strides she still has trouble speaking and she's often confined to a wheelchair. But she vowed to walk with the rest of her graduating class.

"She has a fighting spirit," said Jessica's mother, Clara.

Video of the graduation ceremony from Vancouver Public Schools shows Jessica using a walker to walk a short distance across the stage. The crowd erupts in applause and cheers and she does it.

"Her smile is so radiant you could see it," said Clara Beckman. "She accomplished something she was after and she didn't give up."

"It was kind of scary," said Jessica in a soft whisper. "It made me feel special."

Jessica's family says they are confident she'll make further strides in her recovery.

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