Struck by a jet ski while on a senior trip, Julianne Ennis was still in need of hospitalization the day of her high school graduation ceremony.

But when staffers in the intensive care unit at the Medical Center of Plano, Texas, caught wind of the teen missing such a life milestone because of her injuries, which included a broken leg, they feverishly worked to arrange a graduation ceremony right there in the hospital. 

So Ennis, wearing a cap and gown, was wheeled into a small ceremony in the ICU, where she received her diploma while being watched by classmates and administrators from Canyon Creek Christian Academy, nurses and other hospital employees.

The ceremony was held May 19, the day before the official graduation at Canyon Creek in nearby Richardson, and was attended by the entire senior class. Adam Miller, head of Canyon Creek, says the class decided to attend the ceremony after considering other ways to include Ennis, such as recording a video. “The Medical Center of Plano was great to allow us to come up here and include all of the seniors so Julianne could feel part of it,” Miller says.

The medical center staff was thrilled to help. “Small actions, such as a graduation ceremony for a high school senior, are the elements that significantly impact a patient’s healing and experience," says Charles Gressle, the medical center's CEO.