Dad’s dying wish fulfilled with hospital-room graduation ceremony

OSCEOLA, Ark. -- Everyone called Scotty Webb a gentle giant; he was a volunteer firefighter, a boxing coach and most importantly, a dad.

“I got a lot from him, learned a lot from him as far as everything I do," his son Chance Webb said.

His kids kept him going the last five years. He fought colorectal cancer after a 2012 diagnosis.

“It was very hard to watch him go through it and to know that he was fighting everyday for me and for the family,” he said.

Chance Webb is one of Scottie’s three biological sons, but when WREG met with him, he was also surrounded by three young men he calls his brothers. They're all classmates at Osceola High School.

“He was always there in my corner. He trained us. He made me the person I am," senior Dequinton Littleton said.

“If I needed anything he was always right there for me. I know he loved me. He told me he loved me. He even called me son,” senior Will Calvert said.

“They were basically another set of parents. He was another father figure,” senior Deommy Wallace said.

Scotty Webb's cancer got worse this year, and a couple weeks ago, he went into the hospital. Doctors said he’d never leave.

But he had one dying wish.

“He’d always told me and my two brothers that his one goal in life was to raise three men and have them all graduate,” Chance Webb said.

"When he was admitted into the hospital on Monday he made the comment, ‘I almost made it.’ At that point I knew we had to move heaven and earth to make it happen," Osceola High School teacher Cyndy Henderson said.

So Henderson and others went to work. They planned a graduation ceremony at the hospital.

Logistics didn’t matter. Love was all they needed to make it work. The community came out in force.

“At least 50 to 75 in that very small area,” Henderson said of the crowd that filled the hospital room.

"We walked out. All three made a speech. It was very hard to listen to them speak from the heart like they did," Chance Webb said.

“I just tell him how much I appreciate him for being in my life, helping me with my dreams," Wallace said.

“We just spoke from our heart and told him how much he meant to us, how much of a father figure he was,” Littleton said.

The superintendent came to make it official. And all four young men graduated in gowns with their diploma. "Pomp and Circumstance," the national anthem and the alma mater rang out in the hospital.

It was everything they could’ve imagined because Scotty Webb died just two days later.

They said he was at peace.