HUDSON, TX (KTRE) - Macy Rhodes was unsure if she would walk the halls of Hudson High school ever again. Before graduation, the teenager had to undergo two different brain surgeries. This survivor didn't give up on life despite all of her set backs.
Seeing Macy Rhodes graduate High School Saturday reassured her mother of one important thing.
"To see her walk across the stage means that we won," Paige Paulette said.
Macy was a freshman at Hudson High School when her life changed.
"I was having seizures just in class," Rhodes said. "They thought it was a tumor."
The staff at Children's Hospital in Houston ran several tests.
"Turns out that I had holes in my skull and part of my brain fell through one of the holes; and just became dead brain," Rhodes said.
It was something the staff had never seen. The next step would be a 15 hour surgery to remove the dead part of the brain and fix the holes.
"I thought this could be it. I mean I was top notch in school and I was like I don't even get to see my senior year," Rhodes said.
That wasn't the case. She had a quick recovery and was back to school after just 6 weeks. What happened her first day back was unexpected.
"I got clocked in the head with a backpack," Rhodes said. "It caused a leak in one part of the brain they didn't sew up."
It was a minor set back for the then 16-year-old, but she continued to push forward despite being told she wouldn't be able to play sports or her clarinet.
"I wanted to. My body was telling me that I could but the school told me that I would be a liability. So, all of the sports that I knew forever I couldn't play anymore," Rhodes said.
Macy was convinced she'd be able to play the clarinet although she had trouble with her memory and even joined her off season softball team. Months later the seizures came back.
"The one night we were in the hospital was the worst seizure she ever had," Paulette said. "Her eyes were empty, and she was drooling, and it was horrible. I knew at that minute I never wanted to see that again. Whatever they had to do we would do; and she would do it with my support."
Exactly a year after her first brain surgery Macy had a second brain surgery.
"We have no actual diagnosis. They had to end up taking out the entire right temporal lobe and all of its fundamental properties," Paulette said.
It has been an up and down battle but the teen hasn't given up.
"You have to look at future more than you do the past because if you get stuck on the past, then you'll never move forward," Rhodes said. "Some people look at me as a special needs kid and things like that. I want to do something with special needs kids."
"The fact that she's not supposed to be here let alone be doing anything makes her a survivor," Paulette said. "She wakes up every morning with a smile and with the determination."
Macy Rhodes may be without one third of her brain and a diagnosis, but she's taking things one day at a time.