The Akron prom is a dream come true for one senior. John Phillip Jones didn't just get a physical lift Friday when Thomas Limousine sent one of its stretch cars to fetch him and his entourage; he got an emotional one, too, for John, 22, this is his first prom. Although health issues have meant heís nearly five years late for his first prom, they didn't stop him from taking five dates!
Itís long been the dream of Johnny, a special education graduating senior at Akron's Buchtel High School, to attend his prom at Tangier restaurant. But it almost didn't happen given all of his medical setbacks, including spending six months in the hospital after a severe bout with double pneumonia and wearing a tracheotomy tube for the last two years. In fact Johnny's health situation has been so fragile that he attended classes in the company of a nurse.
His mother, Jaynee Brown, said her 22-year-old son must be hooked to a breathing machine at night. ''He's been through so much. And he's missed out on so much in life,'' she said. ''I just didn't want to see him miss out on his prom.'' But when it came to choosing a date, Johnny had trouble deciding. So, he selected five: his nurse LaDonna ''Missy'' Kelley; his special education teacher Denise Ricks; educational assistants Linda Cartwright and Vernell Foxworth; and his older sister Nichole Jones.
This seemed a natural given that these women, in addition to his mother, are the ones who have been so supportive of him on his long journey back. Johnny's youngest sister, Brittney, is so compassionate about her brother's long journey to recovery, that she is escorting a special education student at Garfield High School, where she is a graduating senior, to their prom.
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