DALLAS -– Graduation season is in full swing, but a freak accident is cutting one Garland teenager’s celebrations short.
Now his high school is stepping in and making the seemingly impossible possible.
“High school is one of the major accomplishments [...] that you actually get to share with your kid,” said Lakeview Centennial High School Principal Angel Rivera.
He became overwhelmed with sadness last month when a crash sent one of his senior students to the operating room just weeks before graduation.
“He won't be there tomorrow with all his friends,” Jana Finney said of her 18-year-old son.
Josh Farmer was sitting inside a Garland McDonald’s off Interstate 30 and Broadway on May 16 when a car barreled through the wall, pinning him to his table.
Police say the 67-year-old woman behind the wheel accidentally hit the gas pedal instead of the brake.
“It's an emotional rollercoaster,” Jay Weesner said.
His nephew spent the past 21 days fighting for his life at Baylor University Medical Center. Nine surgeries later, Farmer is still in the Intensive Care Unit.
"I have kids his age and one of my daughters just graduated from high school as well, and so when I have patients come in who are very much like members of my own family, it's much more difficult in some ways,” said trauma surgeon Dr. Matthew Lovitt.
Even he would agree that sometimes a sweet surprise can help with healing better than any medicine.
“Josh, congratulations on completing your diploma from Lakeview Centennial High School,” said Principal Rivera Friday morning inside Farmer’s ICU room. “Congratulations, sir!"
Graduation was taken on the road.
“Seeing him in the bed [and] how he lit up, it was just amazing,” Rivera said.
What’s also “amazing” is knowing that special moment shared between Farmer, a few of his teachers, and closest friends was caught on camera. It’ll be played as a surprise at Saturday’s graduation ceremony when Josh’s name is called.
“I believe they're just going to start roaring and clapping, and the smiles on their faces just to see him,” Rivera said.
Farmer’s fellow graduates will see a young man with the strength to survive –- a man committed to spending his next stage of life saving others.
“Doctors say he still can be a fireman,” Farmer’s mother said with pride.
A fund has been set up to help with Farmer’s family’s mounting medical bills. Donations can be made at the Wells Fargo at 4771 Saturn Road in Garland.