Woman given 3 days to live at birth graduates from college

NEW YORK (WABC/CNN) - A young woman born with many health issues has defied expectations and plans to help others do the same with her new degree in social work.

Nekhidia Harris, left, was born with many health issues, including brittle bones, but her family says nothing can break her spirit. (Source: WABC/CNN)

Nekhidia Harris, 24, is a force to be reckoned with. When she was born, doctors gave her three days to live, but she graduated with honors Wednesday from Medgar Evers College.

"I was like, ‘Oh my gosh. Is this really, really happening? Oh my gosh.’ I thank God every day,” she said. “I feel so excellent. After the hard work and sleepless nights sometimes, all-nighters, it feels really good that I accomplished my bachelor’s in social work.”

The 24-year-old was born with many health issues, including brittle bones. She’s had numerous surgeries and dozens of fractures, but her family says nothing can break her spirit.

"She lights up a room. No matter what darkness is in a room, she lights up that room,” said Dasline Harris, Nekhidia’s mother.

While Nekhidia Harris is about the size of a toddler, the 24-year-old says she uses her brain as her height. She already runs a nonprofit that she uses to motivate others with disabilities.

"I like to help people and especially children that doesn’t have a voice. I love children – they gravitate to me – so I want to help them in every way I can,” she said.

In the fall, Nekhidia Harris plans to start a master’s program in social work at York College.

Copyright 2019 WABC, Nekhidia Harris via CNN. All rights reserved.