(CBS News) A mother’s dying wish was fulfilled when she got to see her son graduate high school from her hospital bed.
Stephanie Northcott has Lynch Syndrome, a genetic condition linked to several types of cancer. It’s the same disease that claimed her daughter’s life in 2010 when she was just 20 years old.
Northcott is being treated at Baptist Hospital East in Memphis, over 200 miles away from Knoxville where her only son, Dalton, was wrapping up his senior year at Halls High School.
She was worried she would miss a major milestone in her son’s life — his graduation — but then a community of people pulled together to bring his graduation to her.
With help from the school, friends, and hospital staff, the Halls High School graduation was brought to Northcott’s bedside, her friend, Julie Northcott told CBS News. (The longtime friends have the same last name because Julie is now married to Stephanie’s ex-husband.)
About 20 of Dalton’s classmates traveled to the hospital in their caps and gowns so they could graduate in front of his mom. Medical staff members rolled Northcott’s bed into the hospital’s chapel, and one by one, the students walked in to the tune of “The Graduation March.” The graduating seniors stopped by Northcott’s hospital bed, positioned in the middle of the room, to hug her.
Then, Dalton entered the room in his cap and gown. He hugged his mom and stepped up to the podium where his school principal stood. Through tears, the principal presented Dalton with his high school diploma.
With her spirits lifted by her son’s accomplishment, Northcott sat up in her hospital bed and began singing to the room.
Completely overwhelmed by the special graduation ceremony, Dalton’s classmates and football teammates wrapped him in emotional hugs.
Julie Northcott told CBS News the family has started an online campaign to help raise money for her friend’s funeral costs. Doctors say Stephanie Northcott may have only days to live.