HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Earning a high school diploma is a major life accomplishment for most people, but for one Hawaii student the ability to stand on the graduation stage with his classmates was extra special.
Cody Sugai turned his tassel on Saturday afternoon along with 112 students in Hawaii Baptist Academy's 2018 graduating class. However, unlike most of his classmates, Sugai's graduation was the culmination of days spent in and out of the classroom — and hospital.
In February 2010, Sugai was diagnosed with arteriovenous malformation, or AVM, after blood vessels in his brain burst, causing him to suffer multiple strokes. He was in a coma for two and a half weeks.
When he came out, Sugai had to relearn everything from standing up, to drinking water.
In December 2015, Sugai's AVM struck again, when he had a debilitating stroke that weakened the left side of his body. Soon after being treated again, Sugai was determined to continue his love for sports by joining the Hawaiian Baptist Academy's bowling team.
"Everything I've put into not only my physical health, and my school work, and all of my friendships, and everyone who has been there for me — to see that all culminate tonight at graduation — its amazing, and I thank God for it," Sugai said after his graduation.
Sugai plans on attending Seattle Pacific University in the fall.