hgazette.com, Haverhill, MA

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June 5, 2014

A family that beat the odds toward graduation

David Prescott has every reason to count his blessings at Haverhill High School’s commencement exercises on Friday.

He lived to see his adopted son graduate among the top 10 members of his class.

No doubt, when David Albert Prescott walks to the stage, he’ll dedicate the moment to his family, who pulled him from a Russian orphanage at 18 months old and brought the child to Haverhill for a better life. Two other adopted siblings from St. Petersburg were to follow.

But the hallowed moment belongs to dad, a one-time advertising representative at the Gazette, who defied death to cheer on his son.

The day is like an imprint in Prescott’s mind — Dec. 28, 2012 — when he got hammered by two strokes and a cerebral hemorrhage. Doctors told his family that he’d be lucky to survive the ordeal after he was air-lifted to Massachusetts General Hospital.

Four days in a coma produced little hope. During that time, his children spoke to him from his bedside while his wife, former City Councilor Diane Boulanger-Prescott, remained strong and communicative.

Whatever the miracle, Prescott snapped back to life, spending the next 18 months in rehabilitation. During the ordeal, he spoke of being there for his children, particularly the pending graduation of his first child.

The younger David, 18, will be making his graduation entrance with fanfare. He’s pulled a 3.92 GPA with an Advanced Placement background, securing only one B grade over his four years at Haverhill High. A gold key in sculpturing from The Boston Globe Scholastic Arts Contest and another on the regional level shows his artistic side. His artwork has been on exhibit throughout his senior year.

Attached to his cap and gown will be a special designation for fine arts excellence as well as his National Honor Society distinction.

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