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Atchison overcomes adversity, set to graduate next week

It’s been a long road for Trent Atchison.

The Escambia County High School senior will have his high school diploma in hand May 21, more than a year after suffering a gunshot wound that has bound him to a wheelchair.

According to Advance archives, Atmore police officers arrived to Atmore Community Hospital in response to a gunshot victim (Atchison) on Feb. 27, 2018. Atchison was able to identify the shooter, who later turned himself in to authorities.

“It was a long road,” Atchison said, reflecting on the last year. “In high school, my ninth grade year was a pretty good year. I went to alternative school my tenth grade year. When I came back, they were going to hold me back.”

Atchison said he advanced to his junior year, where he made the A/B honor roll.

“Now, here I am in my 12th grade year and I go home at 11:30 (every day),” he said, referring to his therapy.

Last year, when Atchison was in the hospital, the only thing he wanted to do was get back to school.

Atchison said from an early age, graduating was a goal.

“I remember one of my teachers telling me back in fifth grade, and telling me ‘you’re not going to graduate,’” he said. “It’s always clicked in my head that I have to graduate. So, I made sure everything was in line in school so it would happen.”

Atchison said since the shooting, he’s had a lot of support from family and friends.

“It’s a mind thing, too,” he said about making it back. “I was able to shake it back.”

Atchison said he goes to the gym with his brother and lifts weights, adding that he tries to stay active every day.

This fall, Atchison will be attending Coastal Alabama Community College, where he’ll be studying business.

“I want to go into business,” he said. “My brother went into college for business.”

Although he’s excited about graduation next week, Atchison said he’s going to miss high school.

“It’s mixed emotions,” he said. “You’re ready to go, but you aren’t ready for life to hit you. You want to stay, but you can’t stay. It’ll be a bittersweet moment.”

Throughout this whole ordeal, Atchison said keeping faith has helped him stay strong.

“They said it’s a possibility that I can walk,” he said. “Then, I might never walk again. The way I look at it is that I’m going to walk again. You’ve got to keep the faith.”