(SANTA CLARITA, Calif.) — A man in a California hospital who thought he’d have to miss his twins’ high school graduation got a nice surprise from nurses and staff.
Initially David Bernstein of Santa Clarita said Thursday that staff at Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial had told him he’d need to move into a new room.
But when he was wheeled into the new room, he noticed that the room had been decorated with balloons, treats and signs of graduation congratulations.
The staff had also set up a Wi-Fi connection in the room so that he could watch as his 18-year-old twin children, Michael and Valerie Bernstein, walked across the stage at Saugus High School.
“It was overwhelming — the decorations and the cake,” David Bernstein told ABC station KABC-TV on Thursday.
He’d been hospitalized earlier that week but had hoped to be released in time for the graduation. When he learned that he’d actually have to remain in the hospital, David Bernstein said he was “devastated.”
His wife, Diane, said she cried in the room when they got the news. She said the nurses and staff had felt badly for the Bernsteins and sought to do something to help them.
“They got a dedicated Wi-Fi line for him and put him in a different room so he was by himself. … They had it all decorated. … I was just so touched,” Diane Bernstein said. “They were very nice.”
She said the twins’ college graduation had been a long-awaited milestone, particularly because Michael and Valerie Bernstein were born prematurely at 27 weeks. Both parents said it was a team effort raising the two; David Bernstein remembered making as many as 21 bottles of formula a night for the twins in preparation for the next day.
“A lot of people helped us out. My wife did an amazing job,” he said. “They’ve [Michael and Valerie] grown up to be tall kids and good health and they make good grades in school so very proud.”
Both Valerie and Michael Bernstein said their father was missed at the ceremony.
“He’s worked with me so much over the years,” Valerie Bernstein said. “I am so grateful for him.”
“It’s something that we’ve looked forward to,” Diane Bernstein said. “They did exceptionally well in school. … We’re very proud of both of them.”
On Thursday, as he watched the graduation via livestream, David Bernstein got emotional, saying that he’d thought about this moment for a long time.
“I really wanted to go,” he said. “It’s been a long time coming. We’ve made it to a new level. And, it’s just a first step in life so more to come. … Michael and Valerie, very proud of them.”
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