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St. John’s Regional Medical Center hosts surprise high school graduation to fulfill wish of mother with terminal diagnosis


Hospital staff and Oxnard High School District representatives help student graduate early at special ceremony

OXNARD, CA – (April 22, 2019) – On Monday, April 8, the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) waiting room at St. John’s Regional Medical Center became the backdrop to a very special high school graduation, organized to fulfill a longtime dream of a patient with a terminal diagnosis.

Imelda Landin who is battling ovarian cancer dreamt of the day she would see her only daughter walk on stage and receive her high school diploma. Concerned she would not be able to attend her daughter’s graduation this coming June, Imelda’s daughter shared her mother’s dream with hospital staff and leaders from Oxnard Union High School District (OUHSD). Together, the hospital and school district planned a special bedside graduation ceremony.

“I’m extremely grateful towards the staff and leaders of both the hospital and the school district for all they have done,” said Imelda’s daughter. “I’m very happy to have been able to give this gift to my mom.”   


Leading up to this special event, the ICU staff took it upon themselves to organize every detail from ordering a cake to the logistics of staging the room. When the special moment arrived, Imelda was wheeled in her ICU bed, with her nurse at her side, into the ICU lobby, where dozens of people gathered to celebrate her daughter’s graduation.

The room was filled with Imelda’s family, friends, teachers, hospital staff and leaders from both the hospital and school district. And of course, the room was filled with emotion, as Imelda’s daughter received her High School Diploma and became the first graduating member of Pacifica High School’s Class of 2019. She will be attending UC Riverside in the Fall on a scholarship and will continue to receive much support and encouragement from family and friends.

“It was such an honor and a pleasure to fulfill Imelda’s wish,” said Imelda’s nurse, Mike Hollis, BSN, RN. “She will forever hold a place in my heart.”

For additional information or to schedule an interview, please contact Cristina Cortez in the Marketing Communications Department at 805.988.2848.

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About Dignity Health - St. John’s Regional Medical Center

St. John’s Regional Medical Center in Oxnard is a recipient of the Healthgrades Distinguished Hospital Award for Clinical Excellence (2012-2015) and is rated among America’s 100 Best Hospitals for Cardiac Care for five consecutive years. St. John’s Regional Medical Center’s cardiac program offers effective treatment for heart disease as a STEMI Receiving Center, world-class clinical research trials, a certified primary stroke center, and recently became the first hospital in California to offer the world’s smallest leadless pacemaker for patients with bradycardia – slow heart rate. In addition, St. John’s was the first and only hospital in Ventura County to perform cryoablation, an innovative procedure to treat atrial fibrillation – a common heart rhythm disorder. St. John’s Cancer Program is accredited by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer and offers a lung cancer program recognized as the only Center of Excellence in Ventura County. The 16-bed Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at St. John’s provides family centered care for newborns requiring highly specialized attention. Learn more about other classes, events and support groups here.

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