Judy O’Connor was with her son every single day in class taking notes for him. The California mother’s son, Marty O’Connor became a quadriplegic after he fell down a flight of stairs in 2012.
He decided to go back to school to receive a master’s degree in business and his mom was his rock the entire time.
“I know what Marty’s been through since his injury almost five years ago and I knew the monumental challenge it was for him to go back to school,” Judy told Inside Edition. “And I saw what he has accomplished, so I was just filled with so much pride [on graduation] day. I was trying to keep it together.”
Marty was grateful to have his mother by his side for the two years it took to graduate.
“As soon as we started taking the classes and going through it all, I really found how beneficial it was to have someone who I could communicate with well who understood my needs,” Marty told Inside Edition. “We already kind of had that comfort zone that allowed us to work really well together and be successful.”
Judy enjoyed sitting in on his classes, especially since she had a degree in business.
“I learned a lot. It was so interesting,” she said. “I will miss all the intellectual stimulation of being in that program. It was just awesome.”
Marty wanted to pay his mother back so he contacted to school to see if she could receive an honorary MBA. They obliged.
“It was something that had been on my mind for a while. I mean she had gone through all of the classes and everything with me, you know, helping me study for all hours,” Marty said. “I said I don’t know what the process is but I just want to make a formal nomination for my mom for an honorary MBA.”
As Judy pushed her son across the stage in his wheelchair, she was stunned when she was presented with the special degree.
“I don’t know how he kept the secret,” Judy said. “This totally blew me away that he thought to try to have me recognized in that way. It really touched my heart, very meaningful. We made a good team all the way through.”
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