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Teen Is Too Sick To Attend High School Graduation, Unusual Replacement Accepts Diploma On Her Behalf

By - 8th June 2018

Graduation is one of the biggest parts of a students life. You finally get to celebrate the moment that years of work has gone towards. But unfortunately, one Alabama senior was sick in the hospital and so she was unable to attend her graduation. That is until her school came up with a brilliant way to help her out. They were going to have an iPad graduation.

Cynthia Pettway, the student in question, still managed to cross the stage at her graduation to receive her diploma with a little bit of technology and a whole lot of creativity.

Cynthia attended her graduation thanks to an iPad on wheels

The crowds at LeFlore High School’s ‘Class of 2018’ graduation cheered in delight when the robot appeared onstage. What made it more magical was that the robot was dressed in a cap and gown for the ceremony.

But so she wasn’t missing out, Cynthia had a live stream of the ceremony for her and her family who were watching in a USA Children’s and Women’s Hospital conference room.

Staff and students erupted into applause as the virtual Cynthia crossed the stage.

Cynthia had a lot of support from her family at the hospital

40 family members gathered with Cynthia to watch the live stream of her special day. Pettway dressed in her cap and gown for the occasion also.

Pettway says he’s had a lifelong sickness that causes her to stay at the hospital from time to time. The day was very emotional and you can see her wiping away a tear from her eye on the iPad.

iPad graduation

The Mobile County Public Schools (MCPSS) shared the extra-special graduation online.

‘Through a partnership between MCPSS and USA Children’s and Women’s Hospital, Cynthia used a robot cloaked in a cap and gown to virtually walk across the stage,”

Cynthia said she was determined to attend her graduation by any means necessary.

“When I first got the news that I was not going to be able to leave the hospital to attend my graduation from Leflore High School in Mobile, Alabama. I was so sad, I did not want to miss this once in a lifetime milestone. I had worked so hard in night classes just to finish so I could graduate,”

At first, Cynthia Pettway was sceptical that the iPad graduation robot would work

“When I first heard about the robot I did not want to do it. I did not think it would work and I was so upset about not being at the ceremony. I am my grandmother’s first grandchild and I wanted to walk across the stage for her so I agreed,”

But thankfully it did and the reaction to her iPad graduation surprise was better than she could ever imagine.

“The best part was when they called my name and I rolled across the stage. I could hear all the screaming at the ceremony and all the cheering in the hospital. I was so hyped up and then I got so emotional, I cried a lot,”

iPad graduation

Cynthia’s mother, Rachel Johnson said: “It was perfect! We loved it”

The hospital helped coordinate the special walk across the stage, the hospital lent their robot to the school. It uses iPads to transport patients to wherever they want to go.

 “You’re accessing it through the internet, so it doesn’t even matter where you are. She can drive it from the hospital and we can take it wherever she needs to go,” said Stephani Maddox, who works for the Mobile County Public School System and coordinated the walk across the stage.

“She has worked very hard to get here and was devastated… So when we introduced this idea to her… Took us a little while to convince her that although she couldn’t be here physically, she could be here remotely… And after that she got on board and was very excited about it.”

Don’t forget to watch this incredible iPad graduation ceremony for a sick student in the video below. Also, at Happiest we love hearing all of your opinions. So please let us know what you thought of the article in the comment section below. 🐝