20-year-old North Las Vegas man graduates 5 years after near-fatal crash

Published: May. 26, 2023 at 10:53 PM PDT
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LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - A North Las Vegas 20-year-old is getting ready to celebrate a triumphant moment on the long road to recovery. Marsallis Sanders will walk in the graduation ceremony Saturday for Cheyenne High School.

Five years ago, Sanders’ life was completely changed when a drunk driver caused a crash that left him unable to walk or speak. It also changed the lives of everyone close to the then-freshman.

“It was just really hard for us because we didn’t have anything like that happen to us before,” Sanders’ grandmother Valerie Sanders told FOX5. “And he was so young. And he’s like my baby. Grandma’s boy. He was a grandma’s boy.”

Valerie is Marsallis’ caretaker and has been with him every step of the way through his difficult recovery.

“He wants to learn to get better,” she said proudly of her grandson. “He wants a girlfriend. He wants to go play basketball.”

When Marsallis graduates from Cheyenne High School Saturday, a dozen of his closest family members will be there.

“His dad, his mom, grandmas, grandpas, aunts, uncles, I mean everybody,” Valerie said. “Brother, sister. They’re just all excited for him.”

As for Marsallis himself Valerie feels confident in saying he’s elated.

“I think he’s just going to be so happy that he made it this far,” she said.

As for what’s next after school, Valerie says Marsallis has big plans.

“He’s still him in there. He’s still Marsallis,” she said. “And I’m sure he’ll someday find a wife and have a family. That’s what he wants.”

Five years into recovery, Marsallis can walk, but often requires help to do so.