Mother to cross Auburn graduation stage with quadriplegic daughter

Mother to cross Auburn graduation stage with quadriplegic daughter
Anna and Carla Smith will cross Auburn University's graduation stage together. (Source: Auburn University)

AUBURN, AL (WTVM) - A quadriplegic Auburn University student whose mother attended all her classes with her will finish her journey with her mother by her side.

Fifteen years ago, Anna Wilson was accidentally shot by one of her siblings, leaving her without use of her arms or legs.

So, Anna’s mother, Carla, attended all her daughter’s classes with her, taking notes for her and helping her navigate the campus.

This weekend, Anna will graduate with her bachelor’s degree in industrial systems and engineering and it is only fitting that Carla stay by her side for the culmination of their four years of hard work.

Anna says she is abundantly grateful for the opportunities she has been afforded.

“I was not expecting this journey to be so easy with a disability,” she said. “All my professors and the Office of Accessibility made it really easy when it came to doing schoolwork, taking tests and other things. That was one of the main reasons why I had chosen Auburn in the first place.”

Anna is working toward a career in healthcare with a research focus on lean engineering. She is planning on pursuing her master’s degree from Auburn.

“One of the things I have learned at Auburn is that it’s not about how smart you are, but it’s about how dedicated you are,” Anna said.

Carla says she just wants Anna to find a career she loves that will make her proud to get out of bed every day.

Anna and Carla will cross the graduation stage during the 10:00 a.m. ceremony on May 4.

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