Local youth honored for uncommon courage

48_nathanCOOL RING  — Nathan Pruttis shows off his senior ring he received during the intermission of Chickenheart, a play presented by CHS students over the weekend.  Photo courtesy of Debbie Ostertag-CHS





Special for the I-O by Amber Stenson, CHS Student Body President

A little over a year ago, a young boy in our community went through an ordeal that would change his life forever. A large tumor in this young man’s spine was discovered and removed.

However, after surgery there was swelling that caused damage to the spine. This injury left him partially paralyzed. Since returning home, he and his family have made many adjustments and sacrifices. But in the midst of all of this tragedy, this young man has never lost hope.

Determined to regain his mobility, he has pushed through unimaginable challenges. This remarkable young man is Nathan Pruttis, a sophomore at Conrad High School.

Pruttis’ heart and determination has not gone unnoticed. The Conrad Student Council wanted to do something special for him, something to help him keep pushing on and to know that there are lots of people out there who love him.

Members of the student council contacted his parents to see if they had any ideas about anything they could do to help him. They were told that he needed a desk for his wheelchair to set his computer on.

Also, though his parents said it was not a necessity, he really wanted a class ring. Due to many medical bills and the extreme cost of rings, it was not probable that he would be able to receive this when there were so many other necessities that needed to come first.

Upon discussing the issue with student council members, advisor and principal, the council decided to not only do a fund raiser for Pruttis’ desk, but also to try to find a way to get him a ring.

Jim Netz is the Jostens representative out of Great Falls. They are the company through which students purchase their class rings, apparel, graduation announcements and cap and gowns.

Netz was contacted and informed about the special situation. He told Principal Ken Larson to have Pruttis design the ring that he would want, get the form back to him, and he would see what he could do.

Thursday night members of Conrad High School preformed an extraordinarily funny play titled Chickenheart.

Also on Thursday, during the play intermission, Pruttis received his class ring.

With the help of a generous donation by Jostens, he was able to have the ring he wanted so badly.

“Having known Pruttis personally and seen him push through this struggle I can attest for his strength, determination and sheer heart.”

“There is no doubt in my mind that he will be whatever he sets out to be and will face any other challenges he meets head on with no fear.”