Teachers grant Lufkin student's dying wish for diploma

Teachers grant Lufkin student's dying wish for diploma

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - A Lufkin High School student was able to have his dying wish come true after his teachers stepped up.

Felinciano Alvarado is an 18 year-old senior at Lufkin High School. Alvarado has suffered from Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.

"DMD is a disease that affects muscle movements and it eventually affected my brother's brain," Ernesto Alvarado said.

On Oct. 11, Alvarado was rushed to the Intensive Care Unit at CHI St. Luke's Health Memorial Hospital in Lufkin.

"{The] doctors told us he did not have much time to live," Ernesto said.

While at the hospital, Alvarado would be visited by his teachers, and the family got the surprise of their life.

"All of his teachers came to support him and brought his cap, gown, and diploma," Ernesto said. "They walked into the room, and I guess he had his own graduation ceremony. It was a big surprise."

Alvarado's teachers said they got the idea after the special needs principal at Lufkin High school thought it would be cool to give him something special.

"We never thought about the graduation stuff," Kim Jones, an LHS teacher, said. "We knew it was something that Feliciano really wanted, so we decided to make this a special moment."

Ernesto Alvarado said his family was totally caught off guard.

"Since there could be only two people in the room, they came outside and presented the diploma to my mom, and she just started to cry while everyone clapped for her," Ernesto said.

Ernesto said he is proud of his brother, because of the influence he has had on him.

"He is always like my bigger brother," Ernesto said. "He will come around when I'm doing my homework and smile and ask if I'm getting As."

For teachers, Feliciano was a normal student that always brought a smile to the class room.

"To know Feliciano is to love Feliciano," Jones said. "[He's] A very determined young man; even though he had this illness, this disease, it didn't hold him back - not one bit."

Ernesto said he knows his time with his brother will not last much longer but hopes Feliciano's story will inspire others that are struggling to get through school.

"I really want this story to inspire other people because even if you are in a hospital bed, it is still possible to graduate," Ernesto said. "Don't ever take life for granted. Even if you're a senior in school, anything can happen and just strive for the best."

Ernesto said he has been inspired by his brother to continue his education.

"My brother loved Texas A&M and I am planning on going there to become an engineer," Ernesto said.

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