NEW ORLEANS -- There are lots of graduations taking place this time of year, but none quite like this one.
Family and friends attended what was supposed to be a surprise high school graduation for a 17-year old heart transplant patient at Ochsner.
Kaylon Marshall has been waiting for a heart for over a year now.
He got pneumonia in October 2011. The virus set off a domino effect that caused the left side of his heart not to function.
Marshall had a few words of encouragement for other young people struggling to finish school.
“You’ll never know what you can accomplish until your abilities are put to the test. When you get down to the nitty gritty, you don’t know what you can do. It’s going to be hard, there’s going to be days where you don’t want to do it, but just keep going, don’t give up, pray about it,” Marshall said.
Marshall says his doctor let him in on the surprise a few weeks ago, but that didn’t ruin his excitement.
He dreams of attending college and becoming a football coach.