Teen Hospitalized Before Graduation, But Didn’t Let That Stop Her!

(Photo credit: Mobile CPSS Facebook)

Graduation is a special time for any high school senior. They work hard all four years to cross that stage and celebrate with friends and family all while having a diploma in hand.

“That day comes once in a lifetime,” said Cynthia Pettway, a Mobile, Alabama LeFlore High School graduate who even went to night classes, studied hard and was ready to graduate.

But for Pettway, she was unable to make that important walk across the stage. One week ago, Pettway was admitted to the hospital for an undisclosed illness and was told she wouldn’t be able to leave the hospital for three weeks. But she still longed to cross the stage to get her diploma with her classmates

“I couldn’t just sit down and lay in a bed and miss that because it only comes one time,” said Pettway.

Unable to walk across the stage for her graduation from LeFlore, Cynthia lost hope. That is, until her mother had this creative idea that her baby could still walk across the stage–well kind of.

Pettway’s mom had an idea where a “robot” of sorts would be able to have a two-way viewing system where her daughter could view and experience graduation virtually in real time.

“She was like ‘a robot’, a robot! And I was like mama, that’s not going to work,” said Pettway.

USA Children’s and Women’s Hospital and the Mobile County Public School System pitched in to help. They brought out their robot that utilizes two iPads to enable Pettway to be in another place, without ever leaving the hospital.

“You’re accessing it through the internet, so it doesn’t even matter where are, she can drive it from the hospital and we can take it wherever she needs to go,” said Stephanie Maddox, with Mobile County Public School System and USA Children’s and Women’s Hospital.

(Photo credit: Mobile CPSS Facebook)

Pettway and her family were able to stay inside the hospital while ten miles away, at the Mitchell Center, the robot “walked” across the stage for her.

“I’m my grandma’s first grandbaby, her first one to only go and get to walk that stage, so I had to…