HS senior graduates early to fulfill mom’s dying wish, causing tears in the room

High school senior Caleb Woodrum fulfilled his late mother’s final wish by graduating from high school early, and it was a heartfelt occasion that brought everyone in the room to tears.

Stacie Scyrkels, Woodrum’s mother, had been suffering from an atrial septal defect, heart failure, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease for years, and it was Woodrum who had been taking care of her and bringing her to all of her doctor’s appointments.

Woodrum’s principal, Greg Jackson, was present at the hospital bedside of Scyrkels to grant her wish to see her son graduate, as the ceremony was held on March 28, 2023, several months earlier than usual. The event was put together in less than 24 hours, as the nursing team knew that Scyrkels wouldn’t be able to make it until the actual ceremony in May.

The ceremony was filled with love and support, as Woodrum was surrounded by his family members and staff at the Integris Health Southwest Medical Center in Oklahoma City. “There wasn’t a dry eye in that room,” Jackson recalled.

The nursing team put out a request on Facebook for graduation decorations or supplies that anyone could donate, and the Blanchard High School and Principal, Jackson, were more than happy to make the ceremony happen early.

Woodrum expressed his gratitude that his late mother and their loved ones were able to come together for such a special occasion. “It was very surreal. It was something that I couldn’t have imagined … but I’m glad that I did get to make that memory with her,” he said.

Following the ceremony, the mother-son duo shared an emotional hug, which Hopkins said took a lot out of Scyrkels but she persevered because that’s what she wanted.

Scyrkels passed away the day after the ceremony on March 29, which also happened to be her 57th birthday. “Getting to do that for her was probably one of the most spectacular memories I will ever have and keep in my heart forever,” Woodrum told KOCONews5.