Teen Attends Graduation, Thanks
Originally published in The CFIDS
Chronicle, July/August 1998
Stephen Paganetti, 18, although confined to
bed for most of the past five months, attended his high school graduation in May
thanks to donated ambulance service and the support of his classmates at the
Kingsford Oxford School in West Hartford, Conn.
Stephen, who got sick with CFIDS as a
sophomore, was diagnosed with, among other things, psychological problems and
told to "get back to school." The honor student was able to continue his studies
thanks to supportive teachers and tutors, but he crashed in February and was
hospitalized with seizures.
During the week of graduation, a group of
classmates visited Stephen at his home in Durham. An ambulance crew accompanied
him to commencement exercises, wheeling him through the faculty receiving line
on a gurney. The Hartford Courant ran a front-page story on the day of
graduation with the headline, "Illness Won’t Stop Durham Teen," and two
television stations covered the graduation ceremony itself.
The prestigious private school, which had
awarded Stephen a scholarship to make it possible for him to attend, has started
a fund to raise money to help defray Stephen’s medical