Patty had no idea she was sick in September 2016, until all at once the symptoms resulting from the triple negative breast cancer and myositis she’d be diagnosed with in November hit like a “tidal wave.” Over the following six months, Patty’s illness progressed rapidly despite extensive testing, chemotherapy, and a total mastectomy, and by April, it was discovered her cancer had metastasized to her spine. Her daughter, Dorothy “Dot” Donahue, says that “not one day went by when she was not weak, uncomfortable, in pain, itching, feverish, sore, tired, and/or depressed.”
Dot’s younger sister, Samantha, was worried her mom wouldn’t get to see her graduate high school, especially as she was admitted to the hospital on June 5 “when she exhibited symptoms of psychosis and delirium.” So on June 7, several of Sam’s favorite teachers arranged to present her with her diploma during a mini ceremony in Patty’s hospital room. Patty sadly passed away less than 48 hours later.
The special moment was filmed by Dot, who then posted the emotional clip to YouTube, saying:
Immediately after this video, my mother went unconscious and didn’t wake up again. It was a miracle that she was able to wake up enough for the ceremony before she just shut down. It was a miracle that she was able to find herself and come back to us for that occasion. We had our mom back for that brief amount of time. Nobody in the room will ever forget this incredible moment, and we want to share it with the world. In this video, witness the strength and fortitude of a woman who suffered every day for the past 10 months, but refused to miss her youngest child’s graduation. Witness the undying love of a mother.