At just 12 years old, Richard Bautista was shot in the head. The doctors told his family that he would not survive.
Richard not only survived, but on Friday he is a graduate of the university.
Ramona and Hector Bautista will tell you there was once a time when it wasn’t sure they would see at this point. They were not even sure if their youngest son would live to the age of 13 years.
“It really is something that I don’t like to remember,” said Hector, Richard’s father.
In 1995, Richard was shot in the head while riding in a car after a Dodgers game.
“It was so massive that it penetrated through one side and the other,” says Ramona, Richard’s mother.
“As I looked at him, I held his hand and he had a big hole in his head. I thought he would not survive,” said Hector.
Doctors didn’t expect for Richard to make, and they certainly didn’t expect for him to do what he did Friday.
Some 22 years after that devastating shooting left him unable to walk or use his hands, Richard graduated with the highest honors of one of the largest graduating classes in Cerritos College.
“I didn’t know if I could ever get to this point in my life. It is just so difficult and so hard a journey,” Richard said.
His parents say that he is their hero.
“He just kept fighting and fighting,” said his mother.
“He is a miracle. She said that he would not live, and he is here. She said that if he did, he would be a vegetable and he’s not. He is very clever, ” said his father.
Now, Richard is determined to make his life an example for others.
“I hope that by doing this I inspire them to just do more with their life, because there is so much more that people can do.”
Richard says that he says that he wants to use his degree to help others by becoming a motivational speaker.