A touching story about hospice care and end of life moments. The below was written by Tracy Connor, Senior Writer for NBC News —
Battling cancer for four years, Maryland mom Darlene Sugg set a goal — she wanted to see her daughter Megan graduate from high school.
Last week, as her condition took a dire turn, Sugg got her wish with the help of school administrators who threw together a bedside cap-and-gown ceremony for the teen a month before the official commencement date.
There wasn’t a dry eye in the room as Glen Burnie High School Principal Vickie Plitt read a speech she had written just for Megan. Darlene Sugg managed to open her own eyes during the touching address.
“She was hanging on to see my proud moment,” Megan told NBC News. “She knew it meant a lot.”
Darlene Sugg, 47, died two days after her daughter received her diploma. Her husband, Steve Sugg, said he knows the ceremony brought her peace in her final hours.
Darlene was diagnosed with colorectal cancer in 2010. She went into remission, but then the disease spread. She was transferred into home hospice in April with tumors in her lungs, liver and spine. Her husband, a police detective, said that by last Wednesday, “she was going downhill.”
The next day, Darlene Sugg reached another goal, seeing her daughter in her prom dress when Megan put on her gown and went to the senior dance — just as her mom wanted.
That night, as she struggled to breathe, her husband told her it was OK to go, he said. But she shook her head and told him in a weak voice that she wanted him to hold her hand all night and that she would be ready in the morning.
She took her last breath at 3:25 p.m. on Saturday.
“I was still holding her hand,” her husband said.