Best friends given a 2% chance to live past childhood just graduated high school together

Two young men who weren't supposed to live past age seven have just graduated from high school, and their story of perseverance and friendship is one that will fill even the hardest heart with hope.

When Odin Frost was born, his Apgar score was so low he had to be on a ventilator to breathe and he spent two weeks in the NICU. Born prematurely, his mother had preeclampsia that caused stress during his birth, he had bleeding on his brain, and a club foot as well. For his first few years of life, he was in and out of hospitals as doctors attempted to treat him. Odin's parents were told that he was so behind in physical and mental development that he may never catch up. They prepared for him to need a wheelchair full-time as he got older.

At age 3, Odin was accepted into a school that works with special needs kids in his hometown of Tyler, Texas. There he would receive a diagnosis of severe autism with speech and mobility impairment—and also where he would meet his best friend, Jordan Granberry.


Jordan, too, had a complicated birth. His brain was deprived of oxygen for too long, resulting in permanent brain damage. As a newborn, he was flown to the same hospital that would treat Odin a few weeks later. Like Odin, Jordan spent his first few years of life in and of hospitals, and also meeting with specialists. He was given a life expectancy of seven years, and his parents were told that if he lived longer he would live in a vegetative state. He didn't receive a proper diagnosis until age 10.

Both boys had hypotonia, meaning muscle tone doesn't grow the way it's supposed to. Doctors didn't expect either of them to ever walk or talk. That's one reason why watching them walk across the stage and graduate from high school this week felt like a miracle to their parents.

Odin's dad, Tim Frost, shared the best friends' story with Welcometoterranova, from their families' special friendship, to what it meant to see them walk across the stage to receive their diplomas this week.

The boys met as preschoolers, Frost says, when "Jordan initiated Odin into his friend zone by biting his ear, and Odin retaliated by pinching his leg. After that they were inseparable in the classroom."

"Even though both boys are mostly non-verbal, they have a connection to each other that you can just feel when they are in the same room," says Frost. Pre-pandemic, Odin and Jordan would see each other every day since their classrooms were just across the hall from one another. Odin would often bring music to school to share with his friend. "Both boys enjoy long car rides listening to music as loud as possible," says Frost, "and pinching each other, of course."

"They also both like to pick at their mom and dad and most likely have a secret language that they laugh and joke about doing so in," he adds.

Frost says that he and his wife have been close to Jordan's parents for the past 15 years, as the couples raised their kids together. Jordan's mom has been a hairdresser for 25 years and is "the only one quick and brave enough" to cut Odin's hair.

Walking his son across the graduation stage was meaningful for Frost in more ways than one. He himself had dropped out of school and was homeless at age 13. He'd never gotten to make that walk to receive a diploma himself, and doing it with his son Odin felt "momentous."

Jordan's walk was momentous as well, since he had just started walking for the first time at the end of 2019.

"Yesterday they got to graduate together under a very weird a anxious time we are in," says Frost, "and honestly, watching and being a part of it gave me so much hope. Seeing and knowing what these two have been through and then getting to experience a high school graduation for both boys with so little expectations put on their lives was one of the most beautiful things I've ever got to witness."

Frost hopes that sharing Odin and Jordan's story helps the boys be seen. "And not seen in a way of wonder or for people to feel bad for them," says Frost. "I want them to be seen for the miraculous humans that they are."

"Just because someone can't speak back to you doesn't mean they can't understand you," Frost adds. "Just because something doesn't look like 'the normal' doesn't t make it any less than. Both of the boys have more personality, drive, wit, humor, and joy in them to fill anyone's heart with joy. The determination to live and live fully that both of these amazing humans have should inspire and feed hope to anyone who may be looking for it."

Frost says that the family has received a flood of positivity from his sharing the boys' photo and a bit of their story on social media, which has been heartening.

"They are the joy bringers," he says.

Indeed, they are. Congratulations on your graduation, Odin and Jordan. We wish you the best and brightest future possible.

True
Back Market

Between the new normal that is working from home and e-learning for students of all ages, having functional electronic devices is extremely important. But that doesn't mean needing to run out and buy the latest and greatest model. In fact, this cycle of constantly upgrading our devices to keep up with the newest technology is an incredibly dangerous habit.

The amount of e-waste we produce each year is growing at an increasing rate, and the improper treatment and disposal of this waste is harmful to both human health and the planet.

So what's the solution? While no one expects you to stop purchasing new phones, laptops, and other devices, what you can do is consider where you're purchasing them from and how often in order to help improve the planet for future generations.

Keep Reading Show less

Working parents have always had the challenge of juggling career and kids. But during the pandemic, that juggling act feels like a full-on, three-ring circus performance, complete with clowns and rings of fire and flying elephants.

With millions of kids doing virtual learning, our routines and home lives have taken a dramatic shift. Some parents are trying to navigate working from home at the same time, some are trying to figure out who's going to watch over their kids while they work outside the home, and some are scrambling to find a new job because theirs got eliminated due to the pandemic. In addition to the logistical challenges, parents also have to deal with the emotional ups and downs of their kids, who are also dealing with an uncertain and altered reality, while also managing their own existential dread.

It's a whole freaking lot right now, honestly.

Keep Reading Show less
True

$200 billion of COVID-19 recovery funding is being used to bail out fossil fuel companies. These mayors are combatting this and instead investing in green jobs and a just recovery.

Learn more on how cities are taking action: c40.org/divest-invest


via msleja / TikTok

In 2019, the Washoe County School District in Reno, Nevada instituted a policy that forbids teachers from participating in "partisan political activities" during school hours. The policy states that "any signage that is displayed on District property that is, or becomes, political in nature must be removed or covered."

The new policy is based on the U.S. Supreme Court's 2018 Janus decision that limits public employees' First Amendment protections for speech while performing their official duties.

This new policy caused a bit of confusion with Jennifer Leja, a 7th and 8th-grade teacher in the district. She wondered if, as a bisexual woman, the new policy forbids her from discussing her sexuality.

Keep Reading Show less
Courtesy of Tiffany Obi
True

With the COVID-19 pandemic upending her community, Brooklyn-based singer Tiffany Obi turned to healing those who had lost loved ones the way she knew best — through music.

Obi quickly ran into one glaring issue as she began performing solo at memorials. Many of the venues where she performed didn't have the proper equipment for her to play a recorded song to accompany her singing. Often called on to perform the day before a service, Obi couldn't find any pianists to play with her on such short notice.

As she looked at the empty piano at a recent performance, Obi's had a revelation.

"Music just makes everything better," Obi said. "If there was an app to bring musicians together on short notice, we could bring so much joy to the people at those memorials."

Using the coding skills she gained at Pursuit — a rigorous, four-year intensive program that trains adults from underserved backgrounds and no prior experience in programming — Obi turned this market gap into the very first app she created.

She worked alongside four other Pursuit Fellows to build In Tune, an app that connects musicians in close proximity to foster opportunities for collaboration.

When she learned about and applied to Pursuit, Obi was eager to be a part of Pursuit's vision to empower their Fellows to build successful careers in tech. Pursuit's Fellows are representative of the community they want to build: 50% women, 70% Black or Latinx, 40% immigrant, 60% non-Bachelor's degree holders, and more than 50% are public assistance recipients.

Keep Reading Show less