In 2012, former UCF football player Robert Pritchard was left bedridden after a massive stroke. On Friday he walked across the stage at the school's graduation ceremony and received his master's degree in criminal justice.
Pritchard was at his home in Georgia on July 9, 2012, when he began having seizures. He was rushed to a hospital where doctors confirmed the 22-year-old had suffered a massive stroke. The episode left him temporarily paralyzed and confined to a wheelchair.
During his recovery, Pritchard used the goal of receiving his master's as motivation. He eventually returned to classes at UCF and received his degree.
"I'm very lucky and very blessed," Pritchard said, according to the team's website. "People who have strokes, it's not easy to make this kind of recovery. Being an athlete, as far as having that competitive drive, and being motivated to do rehab and do the stuff to help get me back to where I was before."
Two months after the stroke, Pritchard was honored on the field before the Knights' homecoming game.
Pritchard said plans to pursue a career in cyber security.
- Dan Gartland