Since an aortic aneurysm left him partially paralyzed a few years ago, Frank Foster has been in and out of medical facilities. But the Connecticut father was determined to see his son graduate from Bethel High School, and the Ambulance Service of Manchester found a way to make it happen.
“I can’t believe I’m looking at the building,” Foster said when he made it the auditorium at Western Connecticut State University on Monday to watch his son, Paul, receive his high school diploma.
Frank Foster’s aneurysm has kept him in the hospital for most of Paul Foster’s high school career. Monday was the first time he left the facility for anything other than medical purposes.
“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. “It was my freshman year when he went into the hospital, so it was kind of a shock that that happened.”
Paul Foster said his dad woke up one day and couldn’t move his legs. He’s been bedridden ever since.
But Monday was different. The Ambulance Service of Manchester headed to the Hospital for Special Care in New Britain to pick up Frank Foster and brought a wheelchair so he wouldn’t be on a stretcher at the ceremony.
His story hit home for one paramedic in particular.
“He just tugged at my heartstrings and he was telling me about all he ever wanted to do was see his son graduate high school,” said Rachel Buechele of the Ambulance Service of Manchester. “There are things that you expect your dad to be there for, like when I got married.”
Paul Foster plans to take a semester off, then attend Naugatuck Community College. But on Monday, his mind was focused on how lucky he is to be celebrating with his dad.