GREENBRIER, Ark. (KTHV) - High school graduations are always special occasions. But this year for one Greenbrier student, the day brought a level of achievement reaching far beyond her.
Two years ago Jamie Rundel of Spring Hill was in a severe car accident and doctors told her family that she wouldn't make it. Just two weeks ago, Rundel proved them wrong again as she accepted her high school.
"Jamie Michelle Rundel," the announcer says, followed by a roar of cheers from the crowd.
It was a rock-star moment for Jamie Rundel, getting her diploma from Greenbrier High School a few weeks ago.
"The whole 12th grade year I was determined that was going to walk across that stage come graduation time," Rundel said.
And she did it all on her own. "I was really nervous and excited and happy, I was like wow, I felt like Rocky, I did it," Rundel said.
It made her feel like a champ but a humble one. "I was like I'm this big of a deal," Rundel said.
Rundel is a big deal to her fellow students and family, conquering life-threatening injuries from a May 2010 car crash. It put in her the hospital for three months.
"I had five skull fractures, a broken pelvis, broken right leg, had a collapsed lung," Rundel said.
She has a photo album showing her progress from day one. Rundel started walking six months ago, with help from a year in physical therapy and a leg brace.
"She is a miracle, she is a miracle, I promise you," Bonnie Grady said.
Grandmother Bonnie Grady can't get over the progress and support for Rundel. Grady said on graduationd day, "I cried, I could not keep my composure because I was touched by so many strangers that actually didn't know Jamie."
Rundel also scored big on prom night this year, getting a tiara she never expected.
"Then they were like your 2012 homecoming queen is Jamie Rundel and I was like, say what now," Rundel said.
It's a shock she's embracing now as her classmates and community embrace her comeback.
Rundel still can't move her left arm right now, but she's able to walk by herself around the house. When she goes in town, she may grab on to whomever she's with but really tries to walk on her own.
As for her future, Rundel's hoping to do something with animals. She says that's one her big loves.
Her grandmother says Rundel's been an inspiration to everyone around her. She says even the caregivers working with her have been touched by her perseverance. Her grandmother also says despite her huge ordeal, you won't find Rundel complaining.