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Mount Vernon teen receives diploma early so dying father could watch her graduate

special graduation ceremony for Mount Vernon teen - Emily French web use 3.png
Emily French tweeted a picture of her principal, Scott Will, presenting her with her high school diploma on Monday at Mount Carmel East Palliative Care Unit. (Emily French)

A special, early graduation ceremony was held Monday for a Mount Vernon teen whose father has a short time to live.

Emily French tweeted a picture of her principal, Scott Will, presenting her with her high school diploma at Mount Carmel East's Palliative Care Unit. "Today my principal came to the hospital, so my dad could see me graduate. I love you so much dad,“ French tweeted.

It was an emotional and touching moment for French's father to see her graduate from high school. Because of serious health struggles, her father never would have been able to attend her graduation ceremony. She'd reached out to her principal about the possibility of doing something, and French says he was 100% behind it.

Emily said her father Jeff French was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes when he was just six years old. She said throughout his life, her father has had 23 stents put in his heart, and double bypass surgery. He has also suffered from stage three kidney failure, congestive heart failure, and has had a total of four strokes and five heart attacks.

The family said at the start of the year, Jeff had a stroke, which led to three others and two heart attacks within five months. They said he suffered his last stroke on April 5, while he was in the hospital for other complications related to his pacemaker. Doctors told the family that he will spend his last days at the hospital.

"We could barely wake him up and I said dad do you remember what’s happening today? And he had a confused look on his face, and he said oh you’re graduating today," said Emily.

Jeff said he is very proud of his daughter.

Emily told ABC6/FOX28 that her grandma, boyfriend, and three of her close friends attended the diploma ceremony.

The family set up a GoFundMe account to help raise money for his medical expenses and funeral.

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