A secondary school in Texas has thrown a mock ceremony for one of its students whose father’s dying wish was to see her graduate.
Mark Patterson was diagnosed with stage four esophageal cancer in June 2017 and was told he wouldn’t have long left to live.
After his condition worsened, Mr Patterson’s oncologist asked him if he had any bucket list goals.
“He broke down crying and said: ‘I just want to see my baby graduate,’” revealed Mr Patterson’s wife, Darla, in an interview with KLTV.
So a special graduation ceremony for Mr Patterson’s daughter, Christan – who is not due to actually graduate from Lindale High School until May – was held at the Hospice of East Texas on Wednesday to fulfil his wish.
Mr Patterson, who previously worked as a bus driver for the school, was brought out in his bed for the occasion, where he was joined by Christan’s teachers and fellow students.
In a video posted by the school on its Facebook page, Christan and her father can be seen waving to one another ahead of the proceedings.
“We feel so honoured to have been able to present one of our senior students, Christan Patterson, with a mock graduation in honour of her father,” the caption reads.
Speaking to KLTV on the day itself, Christan said: “I know my dad is very caring and very loving and he thanks everyone that was a part of this. I’m so glad he’s here with us right now.”
While Mr Patterson was too unwell to speak on the day of the ceremony, his wife added that if he could, he would’ve described the day as “amazing”.
The family is currently raising money via GoFundMe to help pay for treatment and support Ms Patterson, whose car was recently written off in a crash, the fundraising page states.
“Darla’s son was also diagnosed with eye cancer on 15 January,” it adds.
“To say this woman is walking through fire is an understatement.”