After more than 100 surgeries, Larry Prout celebrates graduation from Pinckney Community High School

'I wanted to graduate and wear my cap and gown'

HOWELL, Mich. – Larry Prout’s mother always told him strength comes in different packages.

“Yeah, they didn’t think I was going to make it before or after birth, and now I’m here,” Larry said.

His strength comes from inside his 4-foot-6 frame. It comes from his heart.

“I just keep going, never give up,” Larry said.

He was born with multiple medical conditions, and nothing has ever come easy. At age 19, Larry has already undergone more than 100 surgeries.

“When Larry was born, you would kind of try to see the future,” his mother, Kathryn Prout, said. “You’d want five years, then 10 years. Larry’s just beat all the odds.”

Growing up, Larry watched his five older siblings graduate. This year, it was his turn.

Larry was just months away from graduation when the coronavirus (COVID-19) shut down schools.

“For him, it was, like, ‘You’ve got to be kidding me,‘” his father, Larry Prout Sr., said. “This is the only thing he really wanted.”

“I was really worked about that,” Larry said. “I wanted to graduate and wear my cap and gown.”

“We’d watch the news and he’s look at the updates and I’d catch him on the couch just (praying),” his father said. “We’re, like, ‘It’s OK man. We’ll figure something out.‘”

Larry’s prayers must have worked, because as Michigan began to reopen, Pinckney Community High School came up with a plan to give its seniors a commencement.

“I thought I would cry at Larry’s graduation, but I couldn’t stop smiling,” his mother said.

While Larry has accomplished a major milestone, he said he plans to continue to use his strength to keep defying the odds.

He won’t get the graduation party he once envisioned, but Larry will have a drive-by celebration later this month so his friends, family members and teachers can congratulate him.

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