Castle Rock teen gets special graduation ceremony in the hospital

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CASTLE ROCK, Colo. -- Grace Bradley had big plans for her high school graduation day. But those plans were turned upside down when the Castle Rock teenager became seriously ill with an infection.

She had a high temperature and debilitating headache. She went to urgent care, then the emergency room. On Monday, she was admitted to Castle Rock Adventist Hospital so doctors could try to figure out what was wrong.

The timing was awful.

“I was very upset,” Grace said.

Her graduation ceremony from Douglas County High School was scheduled for Tuesday.

“Her heart was just breaking,” said her father, Troy Bradley.  Her parents say she was crushed that she wouldn’t be bale to attend the ceremony.

“She was really, really upset. Really angry that she couldn’t participate,” said Lisa Bradley, Grace’s mother.

It was tough to accept.

"When you are a senior, like the one thing you are supposed to do is walk at graduation, and I didn't do that,” Grace said.

She didn't do that, but she got something special instead.

Cellphone video shows her friends and administrators coming into her hospital room, still dressed in their caps and gowns, for a unique ceremony just for Grace. Music played, the principal announced her name and handed her the diploma. There wasn’t a dry eye in the room.

“It just meant a lot to me that my friends put this all together so I could have a graduation,” Grace said.  “I don’t know if anyone has ever done anything like that for me ever.”

The whole family says they were touched.

“It was amazing. It was probably top five highlight of my life,” Lisa said.

Grace is now taking some powerful antibiotics for the infection. The family hopes she will be out of the hospital sometime this week, and ready for some more celebrating.

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