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25-year-old woman given just 3 days to live at birth graduates college: “Don’t let anything stop you”

25-year-old woman given just 3 days to live at birth graduates college: “Don’t let anything stop you”

Nekhidia Harris' college graduation was more of a milestone for her than it might have been for most.
Nekhidia Harris’ college graduation was more of a milestone for her than it might have been for most. © Provided by CBS Interactive Inc.

Sometimes the most incredible things come in the smallest packages. And this determined young woman may be just under 3 feet tall, but she is a woman of indomitable spirit.

Nekhidia Harris’ college graduation was more of a milestone for her than it might have been for most. That’s because when she was born, Harris was given just three days to live.

But the three days passed, and then more days passed, and Harris was eventually sent home from the hospital with her family. Still, doctors weren’t hopeful.

“The doctors told my parents that I wouldn’t be able to write, walk read and other motor skills,” Harris, now 25, told a news outlet.

She has a disease that makes her bones especially brittle, meaning they break easily. Over the years, she’s broken her bones dozens of times and undergone multiple surgeries.

Nekhidia Harris' college graduation was more of a milestone for her than it might have been for most.
Nekhidia Harris’ college graduation was more of a milestone for her than it might have been for most. Source: CBS

She hasn’t let it hold her back. At just 3 feet tall, Harris is a force to reckoned with. She made it all the way to Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn, New York, from which she recently graduated with a bachelor’s degree in social work.

“I was excited and then I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, I don’t want to cry,'” she said of the moment she accepted her diploma. “They were tears of joy that I really got to this moment.”

And she’s not done. Next up? A master’s in social work.

While she’s been working on her dreams, she’s also been helping others with their educational aspirations through her family’s foundation, The Harris Family Vision Foundation. She encourages others to be charitable regardless of their abilities.

When Nekhidia Harris was born, doctors didn't think she would live past 3 days — now she's a college grad
When Nekhidia Harris was born, doctors didn’t think she would live past 3 days — now she’s a college grad – CBS

“My mom and dad always come back here and in their hometown and give out back-to-school stuff, and as we got older my sister and I decided to start a foundation to give back to the community; and, like my dad says, charity begins at home,” Nikki told the Jamaica Observer.

“Don’t let anybody stop you from achieving your dreams,” Harris said. “If you want to give back, give back a little bit even if it’s a prayer. Or donate to an organization even if you don’t have the funds to go all over the place. Find an organization and do that. Don’t let anything stop you.”

Nikki’s guiding philosophy is a quote from Marcus Garvey. She recited, “If you do not have confidence in yourself you are twice defeated in the race of life.”

After completing her bachelor’s program in social work, the remarkable Nikki is moving forward toward yet another goal. She plans to do a Masters program at the York College, according to WABC. It seems the sky’s the limit to what this confident young woman can accomplish.

The enthusiastic girl, who has defied all odds, says she “has used her brain as her height.”

Without a doubt, Nekhidia Harris is a living testament to this statement: “You can’t always be strong, but you can always choose to be brave.” No matter how small you think you are, be courageous and confident and you can achieve anything.

Source Inside Edition


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