Robot fills in for Alabama high school senior too sick to attend - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Robot fills in for Alabama high school senior too sick to attend graduation

Posted: Updated: May 18, 2018 6:22 AM
Mobile County Public Schools partnered with the USA Children’s and Women’s Hospital so Cynthia Pettway could attend her graduation, without ever leaving the hospital. Mobile County Public Schools partnered with the USA Children’s and Women’s Hospital so Cynthia Pettway could attend her graduation, without ever leaving the hospital.

An Alabama senior who would have missed her high school graduation because of illness got to experience the ceremony from the hospital, thanks to a robot.

Cynthia Pettway, 17, was unexpectedly hospitalized a week before she was set to graduate.

Doctors told her she would not be able to leave for weeks.

But, LeFlore Magnet High School officials in Mobile, Ala., had other plans.

What happened?

Mobile County Public Schools partnered with the USA Children's and Women's Hospital so Pettway could attend her graduation, without ever leaving the hospital.

She would be able to walk across the stage virtually.

A robot dressed in a cap and gown and equipped with an iPad took her place.

"I just wanted to walk and I couldn't miss that day,' Pettaway told BBC. "I wasn't going to miss it.'

Pettway drove the robot across the stage from the hospital when school officials called her name.

More: Police: 'Heroic' officer thwarts mass shooting at high school in Dixon, Illinois

More: Chance the Rapper and Chadwick Boseman gave the best graduation advice

More: Tennessee college student wearing 'Women for Trump' shirt shows gun in graduation photo

'Tears of joy...'

The response was overwhelming.

"The cheering came and then I got emotional,' Pettway told BBC. "I was crying bad, tears of joy, and my eyelashes fell out.'

More than 40 members of Cynthia's family and friends gathered in a conference room at the hospital to watch a live stream of the graduation ceremony with her, according to the school district.

Pettway's mother, Rachael Johnson, called the moment "perfect.'

"We loved it."

Follow Cydney Henderson on Twitter @CydHenderson

Powered by Frankly
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2018 KFMB-TV. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.