HS Honors Student Grateful Her Cancer-Stricken Mom Got To See Her Graduate Hours Before Dying
WOODLAND HILLS (CBSLA.com) — Only last Monday, a Woodland Hills High School senior got devastating news.
Angelica de Mesa was told her mother wouldn’t likely live to Tuesday, the day she was scheduled to graduate.
Her mother was battling cancer at Kaiser Permanente.
Not a likely place for a graduation ceremony, but de Mesa — an honor roll student — couldn’t think of a better venue.
Despite the fact her mother was in the hospital and unable to attend the ceremony with the rest of her graduating class, she told CBS2’s Cristy Fajardo, “It was the best day of my life” — because her mother Arleen was there to see her get a diploma.
“When I got my diploma she really couldn’t open her eyes because she ws so weak, but just then she opened, she saw… she smiled she used up all her strength just to smile and be happy,” says the proud but grieving daughter.
The fact her mother could have some final peace, was especially meaningful to de Mesa because the grad had already lost a brother to a drunk driver.
Doctors had warned that her mother was probably too weak to live to see the next day.
“It broke my heart knowing she that couldn’t see me there,” de Mesa says.
Last year the 51-year old Arleen was diagnosed with stomach cancer. And a few weeks ago she got an infection she couldn’t fight off.
“Every night I kinda cried,” said de Mesa.
A nurse got the idea to Skype the graduation ceremony at El Camino Real.
But Yvonne Madrid, a ward clerk, hatched another, more immediate plan.
“All of sudden I thought, why can’t we just have it in the room,” said Madrid.
Madrid called the school when she couldn’t reach anyone. She called her younger brother also a student at El Camino Real.
“I just wanted her to see her daughter graduate,” Madrid said.
Determined she hunted down de Mesa’s cap and gown, her honors sashes, her diploma and some school administrators.
de Mesa is and was so touched.
“This world is full of bad things and she didn’t even know me and she went to great lengths to make my mom happy,” says the honors student.
Pomp and circumstance played as school staff, friends and the family crowded into the hospital room.
de Mesa’s father was overcome.
“He said what I did that night he said it was as if I took them all to heaven and that’s when it hit me, I really did that?” says a modest Madrid.
The family was still on a cloud when Arleen de mesa did die the next day.
Angelica attended her school’s official ceremony bolstered by the joy that in her mothers final hours she met an angel