Engineering student overcomes odds to receive diploma - Interesting Engineering

Engineering student overcomes odds to receive diploma

November 5, 2012

Like many fellow classmates, Mohd Abdul Hafiz Abu Tahir, an engineering student at the Universiti Teknologi Petronas (UTP) in Malaysia received his chemical engineering degree last month. However, he did not walk across the stage to receive his scroll. It was not an act of protest. Nor did he forget to show up. His legs are inoperable, and he had to be pushed in his wheelchair. Although he could not reach up to shake the hand of the chancellor, a smile crossed his lips. Owing to a diving accident he suffered in May, Abdul Hafiz is paralyzed from the neck down.

Twenty-four year old, Abdul Hafiz, struggles with day-to-day living. He can no longer get out of bed by himself in the morning. He now resides at the Sultan Ismail Hospital in Johor Baru where he is receiving physical therapy. He had to ride in an ambulance to his graduation ceremony and be monitored by medical professionals due to the lengthy four day trip from his rehabilitation hospital to his university. Even though completing his requirements for his degree seemed insurmountable, Abdul Hafiz persisted. One of his courses required him to perform chemical experiments. However, when the university allowed him to drop the course, he did not give up. “But, I decided to persevere, and managed to complete my course,” he said. He completed his course in time for the 12th convocation at UTP. “I am determined to improve my condition. I want to stand up and sit down on my own,” he said with great optimism. His determination and fortitude are inspiring to us all.

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