By Lisa Cilli

MIAMI (CBSMiami) — A South Florida quadriplegic who gained national fame in 2018 by using an exoskeleton to help walk across the stage at his college graduation at FIU, has done it again.

This time, Aldo Amenta walked across the stage to receive his master’s degree in biomedical engineering.

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WATCH Aldo walk across the stage

 

Amenta broke his neck and became paralyzed six years ago and didn’t know if he would graduate from college let alone walk at the ceremony.

But he did, with support from an exoskeleton, and he did it again on Sunday night as the graduation crowd cheered and chanted his name.

“Wow, this is one of the biggest moments of my life. So excited. So happy, grateful and blessed to be here today,” Amenta said.

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Amenta hopes to enter the biomedical industry to help others like him suffering from severe spinal injury.

“In the future, I would like to be able to get stem cell treatment or a similar device for me to walk again. That’s one of my main dreams and I would also I want to use my knowledge, my expertise, and my personal experience and use my degree as a biomedical engineer, be able to get into the industry, be able to do research, and develop new technologies for people like me, for anyone who might need it.”

Amenta became a quadraplegic when he broke his neck diving into the shallow end of a swimming pool in 2015, right in the middle of his college career. He spent two weeks in a coma, suffered collapsed lungs due to an infection and experienced his heart stopping twice. He was hospitalized for two months.

Once he was healthy enough, FIU offered him a scholarship under its Ignite Campaign to help him get back to school and finish his degree in electrical engineering.

“The support from FIU has been very important for me and my family. They have allowed and enabled an opportunity that I thought was impossible. So thanks to FIU for transforming the impossible to the inevitable,” said Amenta.

Amenta also said it’s important to believe in yourself, and never give up because anything is possible.

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“If you don’t know where to begin, just take the first step and I’m pretty sure that you’ll be able to accomplish anything that’s in your heart,” he said. “Always be grateful for what you have because you’re alive right now. So, take advantage of anything.”