These best friends who were given 2% chance of survival at birth defied the odds to re-create their first ever photo together — at their high school graduation.
The parents of Odin Frost and Jordon Granberry, both 18, were told their sons would never walk and would live in a “vegetative state” – if they survived their early years.
But the pair exceeded expectations to make it to school – and an adorable photo shows them on their very first day, aged three, sharing a seat.
From that day forward the pair were best buds – sharing a special bond despite being nearly completely non-verbal.
And this week they re-created that photo on their last day at school, when they officially graduated high school and collected their diplomas.
Odin’s proud parents said the near-identical shots, taken 15 years apart, reminded them of how far their son and his best pal had come.
Tim, 37, who is Odin’s dad, said: “My son and his best friend were both told their survival rate would be around 2%, that they’d never walk, and that they’d live in a vegetative state – if they made it past seven years.
“Both walked the stage and graduated.
“I was on cloud 19. I was so fricking proud of him.
“We just want our kids to be seen, and seen for the beautiful humans they are, and seen for their accomplishments.”
Odin’s mum Deanda, 40, from Tyler, Texas, suffered with preeclampsia when she was pregnant, and he was born three weeks early, suffering a bleed on the brain.
Doctors weren’t sure of his diagnosis, but told his parents he wouldn’t walk or talk, had brain problems and his cognitive functions wouldn’t exceed the average seven-year-old.
“Everyone was saying ‘be prepared’ and that he was going to stay in the little kid stage for most of his life,” said Tim, a musician and author.
But he defied the odds and joined a school for children with additional needs aged three – where he met best bud Jordon.
Jordon suffered a blood infection before birth, and his brain was deprived of oxygen, causing him permanent brain damage.
Tim said: “They are fiercely loyal and protective of each other.
“They definitely feel a vibe together. If someone comes too close to Jordon, and they don’t like the vibe, Odin will go into protective mode.
“Odin will laugh and Jordon will laugh too – it has always been that way.
“They have a special connection that I don’t know if the outside world would know what was going on.”
Both boys defied doctors and walked – Odin when he was five and Jordon taking his first steps recently, just before his 18th birthday.
Odin has non verbal severe autism and while he can walk, he uses a wheelchair for long distances.
He doesn’t speak very much, but understands fully what is going on around him.
Tim and Deanda developed a strong friendship with Jordon’s parents Donna, 42, a hair stylist and Damon, 44, a chef.
All four watched their sons graduate last Thursday (16) – a moment they feared they’d never see.
It was only when they took a photo of the pair sat side by side they realised it was a flashback to their first day of school.
Tim posted the then and now photos on Reddit and was inundated with praise from more than 100,000 strangers.
Proud Tim said it helped them deal with not being able to have a huge graduation party, as they had planned, due to Covid-19.
“We’re more used to people being mean than being kind,” he said.
“People stare in public and kids make fun and the internet is usually one of the most horrible places.
“I was getting ready to defend him but it has just been kindness.
“My wife and I just lay there in bed reading the comments, and we were crying at how beautiful it is.”