Two Special-Needs Best Friends With Low Life Expectancy Graduate High School Side by Side

August 4, 2020 Updated: August 5, 2020

Best friends Odin Frost and Jordon Granberry both have special needs and grew up together in Tyler, Texas. Both were given a roughly 2 percent chance of survival by their doctors, but on July 16 they graduated from the same high school, defying their shared prognosis.

Odin and Jordon had an “immediate bond,” Odin’s father, Tim Frost, told CBS News. Their bond persisted as the two 18-year-olds, both almost completely nonverbal, received their high school diplomas side by side from Wayne D. Boshears Center for Exceptional Programs.

Epoch Times Photo
(L–R) Jordon and Odin on the day they met, then 15 years later at high school graduation (Courtesy of Tim Frost)

Tim walked with his son across the graduation stage, calling the moment surreal. “We didn’t think he was going to live,” Tim, 37, exclaimed, “now he’s walking the stage and graduated.”

Jordon’s parents, Donna, 42, and Damon, 44, have been firm friends with Odin’s since their children met on the very first day of school. The four parents, all in attendance at the socially distanced graduation ceremony, re-created a touching photo of their sons, aged 3 at the time, sitting together once again on the day of their graduation as accomplished teens.

After the sweet side-by-side photo comparison was posted online, it went viral on Reddit and received an outpouring of support.

Epoch Times Photo
Odin beside his best friend, Jordon (Courtesy of Tim Frost)

Odin was born prematurely, Tim explained to The Epoch Times via email. His mother, Deanda, 40, had preeclampsia, which caused stress on baby Odin during childbirth. “He couldn’t breathe on his own,” Tim said. “He stayed in the NICU for two weeks before getting to come home.”

Odin had bleeding on the brain and a club foot, and he spent his first few years in and out of hospitals. Doctors suspected that he may never walk and may lapse into a “vegetative state” if he made it past the age of 7.

Tim and Deanda, unwilling to give up on their son’s prospects, found a school tailored for children with all manner of special needs aged between 3 and 21. Odin was accepted.

Epoch Times Photo
Odin dressed in his high school graduation cap and gown (Courtesy of Tim Frost)

“He then received the diagnosis of severe autism with speech and mobility impairment,” Tim went on. “After a few years of physical therapy and leg braces, he was in his room on school holiday and we heard a clanging about … [we] looked down the hallway and saw him walking towards us for the first time, at age five.”

From then on, Odin has been “on the move” all over the place. “This is something doctors gave a very low chance of ever doing,” he reflected. “His determination to be mobile outweighed any prognosis.”

Odin’s best buddy, Jordon, took his first steps just before his 18th birthday, reports Metro.

Epoch Times Photo
Odin, “above anything else, a musician,” plays the guitar (Courtesy of Tim Frost)

The teens attend physical and speech therapy at their school, and Tim’s son’s interests extend way beyond the boundaries of the classroom. “Odin is, above anything else, a musician,” he said. “He is also a very gifted abstract finger painter.”

Since receiving his high school diploma, Odin plans to stay at his school until the age of 21. He will also work alongside his father in Tim’s music studio, creating music for adverts; Odin has already helped his father compose two successful ad campaigns for Forever 21 and Tiffany & Co.

“He will remain living with me and his mom for as long as needed,” Tim added. “My hope for him is that he is happy, safe, and full of joy. His job is just to spread that joy to the world, simply by being him.”

We would love to hear your stories! You can share them with us at emg.inspired@epochtimes.nyc