Coreeliza Tayong graduates from the Marshall B. Ketchum University School of Optometry in May — but her father might not get to be there.
Doctors for Virgilio Tayong, 79, estimated at first that he may have six months to live because of multiple organ dysfunction. More recently, they told his daughter that he might have less than a week.
On Friday, the soon-to-be-grad surprised her dad in his Fresno hospital room at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in full cap and gown, and accepted a teddy bear in lieu of a diploma from her professor. That professor had driven up from Anaheim to attend, and to take a long-awaited graduation photo with the two Tayongs.
Coreeliza said her dad has nicknamed her “doc” and has been looking forward to seeing his youngest child graduate for years.
“He said that once he sees me graduate, he knows that I can fly solo,” she said.