Petrolia HS student defies odds and is heading to Yale

Petrolia HS student defies odds and is heading to Yale

PETROLIA, Texas (TNN) - As high school seniors face college acceptances, one Petrolia High School senior’s next education decision came as a surprise not only to him but also to those close to him.

“I never would have thought I had a chance,” Wade Colley said,

On the evening of April 6, just as the senior had gotten home from a baseball game, Colley got the email all high school seniors wait for: a college’s decision.

“Not really expecting much because I didn’t want to get my hopes up for something that probably wasn’t much of a possibility,” he said.

The next thing he knew: “the welcoming video popped up just announcing the welcome to Yale class of 2025 and playing the school song which was very loud and very proud,” he said, “as soon as I heard that I called my parents in.”

“He said ‘I’m going to Yale, Mom,’” Kerrie Haney said, “he didn’t even tell us it was Yale, he just said I’m opening up an acceptance letter.”

For Colley’s mom, the chance for him to go to an Ivy League school didn’t seem possible when he was younger after a headache during kindergarten recess turned out to be much more.

“The day of really was packed into my memory and I think it will always be that way,” he said.

At five years old, Colley had been diagnosed with Brain Arteriovenous Malformation (AVM), the tangled of abnormal blood vessels in the brain. He had to have emergency surgery and would spend the next few years relearning to read and write.

Sophomore year at another MRI the AVM was back, and Wade had to go back into surgery with another chance of memory loss.

“I was worried that it would hinder any of my learning ability down the road,” Colley said, “which thankfully it hasn’t.”

Wade will have to continue getting MRIs until he stops growing with another scheduled for this summer before he leaves for Connecticut.

Haney said not only is she proud of Wade’s acceptance but for the legacy it’s leaving in Petrolia.

“That’s what makes me the most proud is hearing the other kids on our block or go to Petrolia saying ‘we’re proud of you Wade. Maybe one day I can go to Yale.’”

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