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Feeling down? Read this.....from PB, MO
PBHS grad shocked to see mom there: A walk to remember
PBHS graduate Eric Scott poses for a picture with his mother, Sandra, who has Multiple Sclerosis. Scott had no idea his mother would be attending the 2005 graduation ceremony Thursday. (DAR/Paul Davis)
By JACKIE HARDER ~ Staff Writer
All those years Eric Scott wore a Poplar Bluff Mules uniform, whether it was football, wrestling or track - his biggest fan was never in the stands to cheer him on.
Eric's mother, Sandra, never attended any honor assemblies or awards banquets. She never came to any of Eric's JROTC competitions. She didn't get to see her only son make the grand march at senior prom.
For the most part, Sandra has missed all the "big events" in her son's life. She was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis about the same time she became pregnant. Over the past 18 years, her disease has progressed to the point where she has been bed-bound for years. She must have an ambulance bed in order to be transported, as well as be accompanied by a medical aide or her husband, Keith.
Though Eric often brought home video tapes for his mom to watch, Sandra would have given anything to have been there in person. As his high school graduation approached, Eric had no reason to think this event would be different.
But thanks to the thoughtfulness of friends and the kindness of strangers, Sandra was given the opportunity to attend Eric's graduation last Thursday at the Black River Coliseum.
"I had no idea she would be there until I walked in the door. It was awesome," Eric said. "It's hard to explain in words what that meant. It was amazing."
Sandra, too, has a difficult time putting her feelings into words, mainly due to her loss of motor skills. Even so, her emotions are written all over her face.
"It meant the world to me," she said. "I am so proud of him."
She has every reason to be proud. Eric earned a full-ride, four-year JROTC scholarship to attend Arkansas State University this fall. He has eight varsity letters and graduated with a college prepatory certificate. Sandra and Keith Scott's walls are covered with Eric's awards and honors, dating back to his days on Little League baseball teams.
"But I don't think we could have been prouder than we were at graduation. We are so thankful she got to go," Keith said, smiling at his wife. "I know it meant the world to her. Eric will only graduate from high school one time ..."
"And I got to see it," Sandra said, finishing her husband's thoughts.
The idea of bringing Sandra to the PBHS Class of 2005 graduation ceremony was that of Patty Boyers. Boyers became acquainted with the Scott family a few years ago when her son, Matthew, became friends with Eric through the high school's JROTC program.
"I have an only child. If I were in her place, I would want somebody to do this for me," Boyers said.
With that in mind, Boyers spent the past few months making phone calls and pulling strings -- all in an effort to bring Sandra to the ceremony as discretely and comfortably as possible.
Boyers managed to secure use of an ambulance bed, as well as solicit the help of a certified emergency medical technician, David Williams (who also just happened to be Eric's former wrestling coach). Boyers worked with Black River Coliseum Director Phil Dixon to come up with plans to get Sandra and the ambulance bed into the coliseum and close to the stage. Boyers even thought to bring a Poplar Bluff Mules afghan for Sandra to throw over her legs.
Keith Scott laughed as he described the motorcade of vehicles and entourage of people Boyers pulled together last week.
"It looked like they were escorting the president," he said. "We really want to thank the people responsible for getting her there. That meant so much to all of us. It's something we'll never forget."
When told of the Scott family's gratitude, Boyers just said, "It was thanks enough for her to be there and see her baby graduate."
"All I did was help organize it," she said, adding there were many people who helped. She wanted to thank David Williams, PBHS Principal Scot Young, Superintendent Randy Winston, R-1 board member Greg West, Phil Dixon and the staff at the coliseum, and Cindy Hoya.
Re: Feeling down? Read this.....from PB, MO
Good reading. Good feeling!
Re: Feeling down? Read this.....from PB, MO
1. I for one tend to take something as simple as my health for granted. This story should be a reminder to me to be thankful for what I have.
2. Though mainstream media would have you believe otherwise, there are a lot of good people in the world.
Personal Sidenote:She wanted to thank David Williams, PBHS Principal Scot Young, Superintendent Randy Winston, R-1 board member Greg West, Phil Dixon and the staff at the coliseum, and Cindy Hoya.