As the Class of 2021 prepares to graduate amid the ongoing global pandemic, NBC 5 has made a commitment to help the families of North Texas to Brag About Your Grad.
DeAnte Jordan, 17, of Dallas is among the many whose lives have taken sharp turns in the last year-plus, with their education looking a lot different than they had originally envisioned.
But this young man, who is set to graduate this Saturday from the Pegasus Charter School of Liberal Arts in downtown Dallas, and then pursue music education at Dallas Baptist University starting in the fall, is perhaps more accustomed to life changes than many of his classmates are.
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Jordan was born prematurely, at just 24 weeks and weighing in at just 1 pound, 10 ounces, and was not given a good prognosis by the medical team at Parkland Hospital.
“The doctors didn’t really expect him to make it past the first 24 hours,” said mom Krystal Green. “I did not have that luxury to go, at birth, ‘oh, what is he going to be [when he grows up]?’ I couldn’t think past the first 24 hours.”
Beyond his initial struggles, DeAnte Jordan was later diagnosed with cerebral palsy, hydrocephalus, epilepsy, strabismus, and he has endured several surgeries during his young life.
“When you start messing with the brain, start messing with the heart, each surgery developed a bigger risk than the surgery before,” Green said. “So, at that time it was, ‘Lord, just take it day by day.’”
Many of those days that followed involved faith, fellowship and music at Egypt Chapel Baptist Church, where Jordan has grown into a role as the Assistant Minister of Music.
“Going from a baby to where I am now, I feel like I was dedicated to do all the stuff that I have done now, like music, being supported in school, with all my disabilities, and just be the happy kid that I’m grateful to be,” Jordan said.
Green beamed with pride as she sat beside her son and bragged on her grad, seemingly equal parts proud of the journey that he has taken to reach this point, and hopeful, finally, for what comes next.
“I am beyond thankful for him and grateful that I was chosen to be the one to take him on this journey,” Green said.