Sick Dartmouth HS student to walk in graduation

Nicole Gerber

DARTMOUTH – Ashlyn Conde has been waiting for this moment for 12 years.

“I already missed all the senior times: prom, senior weeks, yearbooks, everything. And all I want is to graduate, to cross the stage,” she said.

After a fierce battle with the school, Ashlyn, a Dartmouth senior, will finally get the chance to walk with her peers during graduation…. though she won’t be receiving her diploma at the end.

She’s 4 credits shy, since she spent most of the month of May at Boston’s Children’s Hospital, recovering from a rare disease called Stevens–Johnson Syndrome, after an allergic reaction to Motrin.

She spent days intubated, in a coma. And at one point, her heart stopped.

“It’s a miracle by god that she’s here today… I wouldn’t want anyone to see or witness what me and my wife had to witness, and what she had gone through,” said her dad, Jerry.

Following school policy, the principal informed Ashlyn that she could not walk in graduation. But then… an outpouring of community support in the form of thousands of tweets, a student petition, posters around campus, and more.

“She’s so lucky to have such wonderful classmates, we’ve heard a few people say that they won’t walk until she walks,” said her cousin Alyssa Medeiros.

“It’s just amazing, like, how many people care for me, that I didn’t know before,” Ashlyn said through tears.

The school board has allowed the principal to wave the school’s policy, to allow Ashlyn to cross the stage.

She’ll make up her missing credits through a tutor this summer and hopefully receive her diploma before the year is through.

(c) WLNE-TV 2014