Tech & Science

An Army vet and a guy who endured a coma discovered friendship through science. Now they’re graduating college together.

By  | 

Around the time Dreyvon McCray was relearning the best ways to stroll and talk and live in a world in which a kid can be beaten into a coma over a mobile phone, Terin D'amico was jumping from aircrafts and contemplating a life after the military.In 2016, their courses crossed in the lunchroom at Governors State University.D'amico, a middle-aged" nontraditional"trainee, approached a group of other students who were consuming lunch and asked if he could join them. They said yes.You may say the relationship that subsequently formed in between

McCray and D'amico developed organically."We both like science, particularly chemistry,"D'amico said.But there was more

to the bond in between the 52-year-old daddy of 3 and the 25-year-old survivor of a dreadful attack that made headings 11 years earlier. They had a type of connection, a similar funny bone and a shared need to help others along the way.Both men would spend the next few semesters attending class, hanging in the lab and mastering a subject that, D'amico states,"can be very humbling."They reviewed lab reports and ate lunch together, D'amico brown-bagging it and McCray pestering him for his pretzel crisps." That's when he started calling me his 4th boy,"McCray said.On May 19, McCray and D'amico will cross the stage together at graduation. D'amico will assist McCray, who utilizes a walker, negotiate the platform.It is a bittersweet time for the students because it also suggests later, they'll be parting methods, D'amico going to Notre Dame University and McCray either remaining at GSU or heading into Chicago to participate in< a title=" DePaul University"href =http://www.chicagotribune.com/topic/education/colleges-universities/depaul-university-OREDU000019-topic.html > DePaul University."Dreyvon has actually been my lab partner for the in 2015 and half," D'amico said."Generally you have various partners in every class but we have actually hung out together for a very long time."At times over the past academic year, they invested more hours with each other on the University Park school than they did with their own families." We spent one whole spring break on the second flooring of the F-wing,"

D'amico said.Among their proudest moments was when they worked together on an organic synthesis job, producing a brand-new compound from 2 others, he said.They likewise spent numerous hours in

the GSU tutoring laboratory, where D'amico worked and McCray frequently just hung out.Through all of it, both discovered their

calling. McCray switched from math to chemistry, and D'amico, who had actually messed around with nursing and the trades, selected the same.As much as D'amico assisted McCray comprehend formulas and molecular residential or commercial properties, McCray assisted D'amico value the worth of perseverance.McCray, whose handicaps need him to utilize a walker, said,"My entire life has a been a hard battle." Being born three months early, he stated, was the very first hurdle he had to

conquer, and he did, going onto become an honor trainee at Longwood Academy in Chicago's Roseland community.The second difficulty came in the summer season between his freshman and sophomore year of high school.On June 29, 2007, while he was waiting on a bus at 103rd and Halsted, McCray stated,"

I was leapt for my cellular phone."

Gary Middendorf/ Daily Southtown Dreyvon McCray breaks down May 9, 2018, in University Park while remembering the attack that left him with physical difficulties. He is now poised to finish from Governors State University.Dreyvon McCray breaks down May 9, 2018, in University Park while remembering the attack that left him with physical difficulties. He is now poised to finish from Governors State University.(Gary Middendorf/ Daily Southtown)The blow to the head, provided by a brick, put him in

a coma and caused extensive damage. He is still handling the residuals of the Traumatic Brain Injury.Though lots of months of therapy allowed him to relearn ways to stroll, talk and eat again, the injuries left him with scoliosis and a shunt in his head.His handicaps limit his profession choices because working in a laboratory can be requiring, he said." However I prepare to end up being a teacher, a teacher."Despite his injury, McCray prides himself on his positive attitude, something others, consisting of receptionist Nancy Maurer can testify

to."He is a ray of sunshine, always smiling, always on the go, "Maurer said."I ask him exactly what he's going to do over the weekend and he always states, 'I'll be studying. '" McCray stated having D'amico as a buddy these previous couple of years has actually assisted him academically and spiritually.

"To have Terin as a buddy means a lot because older people do not constantly look at youths as friends

,"he said.D 'amico has typically given him a ride home and has fulfilled his household, he stated. "At times he's been like a daddy figure," McCray said,"but he's also my good friend. He can be very ironical," referring to D'amico's tendency for utilizing idioms and witty comebacks.Friendship, McCray stated, "is not about age or race or anything like that. It has to do with your spirits and characters agreeing each other. "D'amico echoes the belief and the worth of it. "Drey has assisted me in numerous ways, too,"he stated. "He constantly has a positive mindset regardless of all he's been through. He's got an innocent heart. He reminds me of Fred Rogers(of"Mr. Rogers"popularity), who is my hero. "As a nontraditional trainee, D'amico stated,"you want to make pals in college that will remain with you for a lifetime and I make certain this will." < figure data-role="delayload delayload_done imgsize_item"> Gary Middendorf/ Daily Southtown Terin D'amico (revealed)and Dreyvon McCray collaborated on a chemistry project at Governors State University.

D'Amico is seen May 9, 2018, in University Park.Terin D'amico(shown)and Dreyvon McCray teamed up on a chemistry task at Governors State University. D'Amico is seen Might 9, 2018, in University Park. (Gary Middendorf/ Daily Southtown)

D'amico, who matured in Washington state and signed up with the Army at age 18, has a younger brother who went straight to college and made a Ph.D. in organic chemistry.

"So I'm following in my younger sibling's steps," he said.Though D'amico is

presently moving with his spouse, Sandy, from Country Club Hills to South Bend, Ind., in preparation of the start of his own doctoral classes, he said he expects McCray, who lives in Dolton, to visit him typically so he can show him around the laboratory there.

"I'm entering into medicinal chemistry," D'amico said. "The man I'll be working for over the summer is one of the editors of the journal of medical chemistry."

Robin Sweeney, GSU's director of Student Impairment Provider, said McCray and D'amico have been "a component in the Trainee Success Commons.

"Before they part methods, the good friends have one last partnership-- strolling across the stage together," she said.SDS is working

with commencement marshals to make sure that McCray has a seat on the end of the aisle with easy access to his walker, she stated.

"When his name is called," she added, "D'amico will escort McCray throughout the phase."

Language »