When he was just 17 year-old, Derrick Perry was shot in the head at a Detroit house party, changing his life forever.

Perry underwent six hours of surgery and 5 months of rehab, and today needs a wheelchair to get around.

But his harrowing ordeal didn’t stop him from graduating from high school on time and attending college in the fall, just 7 months after being shot.

From NewsOne:

“‘He actually was able to take his test for graduation so that he could go across that stage,’ Perry’s mother told Fox 2 Detroit. “It wasn’t given to him. He earned it.”

He also has acceptance letter to a local college where he plans to study physical therapy.

On Friday, a group of his closest friends and family threw a party for him to celebrate his 18th birthday and graduation from high school. But his party celebrates much more than that. It is the celebration of how a human being’s determination can turn a personal tragedy into national inspiration.”

Read more at NewsOne.com

We are truly in awe of this young man’s strength and resilience. His story is a testament to the fact that any and all obstacles can be overcome.