ORANGE (CBSLA.com) — Just days before he was set to graduate from college, Cory Sullivan was involved in a motorcycle accident that left the 26-year-old paralyzed.
The accident earlier this month happened in Garden Grove when Sullivan's motorcycle accelerated out of control.
Sullivan snapped his vertebrae in two places and shattered countless bones, leaving doctors stunned he survived.
When he regained consciousness at UCI Medical Center in Orange, his mother says he had one question: "What about school? Am I gonna graduate?"
Cindy Sullivan called the dean of students at Cal State Long Beach, where her son was days away from graduating.
"They started hatching a plan," said Jane Close Conoley, president of CSULB. "When something bad happens, it really, it hits all of us."
On Thursday, Conoley personally handed Cory his diploma in his hospital room during a makeshift commencement ceremony.
"It filled him up with tears. All he did was cry because that was so important to him. He worked so hard for it," his mom said.
Sullivan, who majored in psychology, wants to become a counselor and help others.
"He's already talking about wanting to go to graduate school," Conoley said.
Sullivan worked his way through college as a waiter with limited health insurance. He now faces mounting hospital bills. His family has set up a GoFundMe page to assist with costs. For more information, click here.
"God kept him here for a reason and that was to go on to do great things," his mom said.
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