Wheelchair-bound father with ALS rises to his feet at son's military graduation

Jun 13, 2018
04:59 A.M.
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55-year-old ALS patient defied all odds to uphold a special promise he made to his son.


Frankie Sanchez, who suffers from Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), had to go to the emergency room when the breathing machine he is dependent upon stopped working without any warning.

According to Today, it happened on the night before his oldest son's military graduation, a special occasion he and his wife, Christy, did not want to miss.

They had made an eight-hour drive with family from their home in El Paso, Texas to San Antonio to see Frankie Jr. graduate from Air Force basic training.

Unfortunately, Frankie's doctors told him that he could leave the hospital without a new breathing machine. Since it was middle of the night, there was no one available to deliver it to them.


It seemed almost certain that the couple would miss one of the most important days in their son's life. But the next morning, a respiratory therapist managed to bring a new machine for Frankie in the last minute.

Although the couple barely had any time to sleep, eat, shower or even changed their clothes, they did not lose any more time in heading out for their son's graduation ceremony.

"We checked out of the hospital at 9:46 a.m. and raced over to the base and got to our seats with about 10 minutes to spare," Christy told Today.

Frankie made a promise to his son that, should he live till the day he graduated, he would not only witness the event but also "tap" him out.


The source informed that at basic training graduation ceremonies, the graduates usually stand at attention until someone 'taps them out' to release them.

So as soon as he reached the ceremony, he had another duty to fulfill. He was determined to rise from his power wheelchair to be the one to "tap out" his son.

Fortunately, all went well at the last minute and Frankie was able to uphold his promise.

"We are so grateful to the entire hospital staff and the company that brought us a new machine so we could make it in time for the tap out," Christy stated.