Metro Detroit teen celebrates high school graduation and beating COVID-19

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Posted at 5:34 PM, Jun 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-03 18:04:51-04

(WXYZ) — The pandemic canceled many plans for high school seniors throughout Michigan.

Students aren’t getting a traditional graduation, but for one River Rouge High School senior, he got a small, personal ceremony after beating the coronavirus.

It wasn’t the graduation ceremony 18-year-old Alijah Cromartie thought he would get when he started his senior year.

He choked back tears because he is just happy to be alive.

Alijah has come out as fighting champion against Covid-19.

“I just remember me passing out,” he said.

Alijah’s grandmother contracted the coronavirus and died in mid-April. A couple of days later, Alijah was rushed to the hospital.

It turns out, he also had COVID-19 and was high risk because he has asthma.

“It was pretty difficult, didn’t have any time to grieve or get over anything,” Alijah said.

After weeks on a ventilator, he spent time at the Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan.

Once he was strong enough to be an outpatient the health care workers at the center wanted to send him off in cap and gown.

“Felt pretty good especially I just had dealt with, it was really nice," he said.

Now, Alijah is home and getting ready for whatever the future holds. He has this message for our viewers:

“No matter what odds are stacked against you, you should stay positive and thank God He is looking upon you,” Alijah said.

The young man’s next move is attending HVAC trade school.

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