Teen too sick to leave hospital is able to 'walk' across the stage and accept her diploma with a mounted iPad draped in a gown

An Alabama senior sick in the hospital was physically unable to make it to her high school graduation. But Cynthia Pettway, of Mobile, still crossed her graduation stage and received her diploma with a little help from a robot and an iPad.The crowds at LeFlore High School's Class of 2018 graduation cheered when a robot dressed in a cap and gown rolled across the stage with an iPad in place of a face, where Pettway was pictured live streaming into the ceremony on Monday.
Students and staff roared with applause as the Pettway virtually crossed the stage, beaming wearing her own cap and gown in the USA Children's and Women's Hospital conference room. With her were about 40 family members gathered in the hospital conference room, cheering her on. Pettway, who says she has lifelong sickness that causes her to stay in the hospital at times, was seen on the iPad screen wiping away tears from her eyes. Mobile County Public Schools (MCPSS) shared the special graduation online, where it has gone viral with more than 1,600 shares. '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,' the school district said. As for Pettway, she says she was determined to attend her graduation by any means possible. '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,' Pettway said.
'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,' she added. She added that the actual experience was better than she anticipated. '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,' she said. Her mother Rachael Johnson said: 'It was perfect. We loved it' at the ceremony. The hospital helped coordinate the special walk across the stage, lending their robot which uses iPads to transport patients to wherever they want to go, according to CBS. '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,' Maddox added.
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