Belshaw on Bryan Patterson’s Graduation

Bryan Patterson, whose struggle to recover from brain injury my colleague Jim Belshaw chronicled in the Albuquerque Journal, graduated from UNM today with a masters degree in public health, and Jim was there to enjoy the moment:

I had an aisle seat and I could see him when he made the turn into the aisle. When our eyes met, we smiled. By the time he reached me and held out a hand, all we could was laugh. No words came. Only laughter at the disbelieving wonder of it all.

That he could walk was miraculous enough. That he was alive to walk even more so. By rights, by any reasonable medical assessment, Bryan should not have been in the building, should not have been alive, let alone the recipient of a master’s degree in public health.