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Paralyzed CT Father Catches a Lift To See His Son Graduate

Frank Foster has been in hospital for most of his son Paul’s time at high school.

Credit Rachel Buechele: Frank and Paul Foster inside WCSU’s O’Neill Center for the Bethel High School Graduation.
Credit Rachel Buechele: Frank and Paul Foster inside WCSU’s O’Neill Center for the Bethel High School Graduation.

There are times a son needs his father. For Paul Foster, his graduation from Bethel High School on Monday was one of those times.

But his dad, Frank, has been partially paralyzed since an aortic aneurysm a few years ago, and now is forced to spend most of his time in hospital, NBC Connecticut reports.

Monday was different, though. Thanks to the generosity of the Ambulance Service of Manchester (ASM), Foster was there to see Paul get his diploma at the ceremony at Western Connecticut State University. 

"It was all the crew's idea," David Skoczulek, Director of Business Development and Community Relations at ASM, told Patch in a phone interview. "They had ridden with Mr Foster and getting to his son's graduation was all he could talk about - even 6 months in advance." 

Skoczulek says the ambulance crew found his story so compelling that for him it was a "no-brainer" to provide the free ride. 

So it was a total surprise when Foster found out ASM were going to make sure he could see Paul graduate. In fact, “surprise is an understatement,” Foster told Fox CT.

"What we do is either emotionally draining or thankless or both," Skoczulek continued. "The opportunity to make someone truly happy like this doesn't, frankly, come up often enough."

“There are a lot of people in my life who mean a lot to me, but he’s one of the few who means especially a lot to me, especially now because he’s here,” Paul Foster said at the ceremony, according to NBC Connecticut.

Three years ago, Foster got out of bed one morning and fell to the floor. A blood clot in his leg had moved up to his heart, leading to a stroke paralyzing him from the chest, according to the News Times.

After a semester off, Paul will head to Naugatuck Community College, NBC Connecticut reports. Hopefully his father will be able to make it to that graduation, too.
Joe Mancini June 25, 2014 at 10:18 AM
Touching story, however, it wouldn't hurt Frank to lose about 100 pounds for his own health and for his son's sake.

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