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Updated 6.6.18: Photos from graduation night courtesy of Children's Healthcare of Atlanta. Darby Cochran is pictured with Kelly Moore, Doctor of Physical Therapist, and Destiny McCrorey, Rehab Business Operations Coordinator.

Click here to see a video from Children's showing Darby's journey and her walk on graduation night complete with cheers from her classmates and a chant of "Darby! Darby!"
Student Hopes to Walk Across High School Graduation Stage
Courtesy of Children's Healthcare of Atlanta

ZEBULON - Darby Cochran has had one dream for as long as the people around her can remember: to walk across her high school graduation stage. This walk is important to many, but it’s special to Darby because she gets around on a day to day basis using a power wheelchair. She was born with Cerebral Palsy which affects her body movements, coordination and muscle tone.

“Just a few years ago she wasn’t able to sit up on her own and two years ago she was barely walking,” said Kelly Moore, a physical therapist from Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.

Then, Darby started working on her walking coordination and gait with the Children’s team using the Exoskeleton. The Exoskeleton has motors at the hips and knees to help individuals walk in almost a perfect pattern, but requires the individual to properly shift their weight and to initiate each step, said Moore.

Moore and the rest of Darby’s care providers at Children’s were so impressed with Darby’s hard work and positive spirit that they worked to make something happen that’s never been done before: transport the Children’s Exoskeleton to a high school graduation.

“I am so excited,” said Darby. “I have been praying for this.”

Photos courtesy of Children's Healthcare of Atlanta.

Submitted 5.25.18