Stabbed Franklin Regional student Boger proves doctors wrong, attends prom
In the days after Jared Boger was stabbed at Franklin Regional Senior High School, doctors at UPMC Presbyterian said it was unlikely he'd be able to attend the prom.
On Friday, he proved them wrong.
Looking dapper in a black tuxedo, complete with a big smile and his girlfriend by his side, Boger, 17, received a standing ovation upon walking on stage after being introduced at the school's promenade.
“I'm surprised I'm going to be there,” said Boger, a junior, as he awaited a donated stretch limousine at his Murrysville home on Friday afternoon.
He is one of 20 students who were wounded in a stabbing rampage at the school before classes started on April 9. A security guard was wounded while helping school officials apprehend the sophomore suspect who allegedly was carrying two knives.
Two students remain in Forbes Regional Hospital in fair condition — Greg Keener, 15, and Connor Warwick, 16.
Friday's junior/senior prom went on for 471 students, with the promenade and then dinner and dancing at Heinz Field. Students stopped, smiled and posed before a backdrop of the Pittsburgh skyline on stage at the school auditorium.
A few twirled their date, and one gave his date a peck on the cheek while popular music played in the background.
Victims of the attack received extra applause and cheers as they were introduced. About 1,200 people attended the promenade as spectators, Assistant Superintendent Mary Catherine Reljac said.
“We're looking forward to seeing our students enjoy each others' company,” she said. “The last few weeks have had so many emotions. ... Something like (the stabbing) doesn't heal quickly or completely. We will not be defined by what happened.”
Boger was discharged after a two-week hospital stay to recover at home from a stab wound in his left abdomen. That put his girlfriend of five months, Micala Myers, a junior in the neighboring Penn-Trafford School District, and her mother, Tammy, into prom planning mode. With a lot of community support, everything came together in just over a week, they said.
Micala Myers got a discount on her dress and free accessories from The Prom Shoppe in Uniontown, and Men's Wearhouse in Monroeville donated Boger's tuxedo, Tammy Myers said. Rosebuds in Murrysville gave the flowers with short notice, while Regency Transportation Group provided a new stretch limousine.
“To whatever extent you can call it a success, it's a success he's gotten out of the hospital,” said Regency owner Tom Miller, a 1973 Franklin Regional graduate.
The donation is insignificant compared to the “success story of him battling through what he's battled and the community battling through what they've battled,” Miller said.
The district received donations for the prom from Dragonfly Florist in Murrysville, Steel City Photo Booth in Hempfield and a sundae bar from Aramark Catering and the Steelers.
“We couldn't be any more thankful for so many people,” said Jared's dad, Don Boger.
“It's just been incredible. I didn't know so many people cared,” mother Janet Boger said.
The offers of help led to tears for Micala Myers and her mother.
“Words can't explain — just so thankful that the community came together like this,” Micala said. “They're the ones that made it all possible. Places, without hesitation, said don't worry about it.”
“It was just one thing after another,” Tammy Myers said. “We were actually numb.”
Happiness and excitement permeated the Boger house as the couple posed for pictures.
“The generosity from all the different people is amazing,” Jared Boger said.
He said he hoped to be able to make it the whole night. Dancing was unlikely, though, because he suffered injuries to his liver, diaphragm and surrounding blood vessels. He underwent four staggered surgeries.
“When this first happened, I didn't think I was going to even get there,” Boger said.
But he and Myers walked across the stage in triumph. A wheelchair waited to take him out to the waiting limousine for a well-deserved night with friends.
Staff writer Kari Andren contributed. Renatta Signorini is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-837-5374 or firstname.lastname@example.org.