Emily Baker

Emily Baker celebrated her graduation from Big Spring High School with her family at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center Friday.

Provided by Penn State Health

Big Spring High School’s salutatorian was able to take part in last week’s graduation ceremony despite a car crash that left her hospitalized.

Emily Baker, 18, of Newville, was among two high school seniors celebrating graduation at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center.

Baker was seriously injured after a one-vehicle crash in Lower Mifflin Township last Tuesday, only days before her graduation that Friday.

Penn State Health reported that on Friday afternoon ahead of the graduation, Baker spent the day recovering from surgery and visits from two friends who brought her cap and gown to the hospital.

Her hospital room had flowers, cards and balloons in one corner, while the outside of the room was decorated with crepe paper streamers in Big Spring’s colors.

Penn State nurse Margaret Murray, an alumna of Big Spring High School, decorated Baker’s window.

Baker had planned to participate in Friday night’s graduation via an iPad hooked up to a robotic device that her school uses for homebound instruction.

“A fellow student suggested to the principal that they do that,” Emily’s father, Bob Baker, told Penn State Health. “She can control it and move her view to interact with her friends.”

The graduation celebration that night involved cupcakes decorated in her school colors with sparkling grape juice. Baker also received gifts that were pulled together by hospital staff.

Also in the hospital celebrating graduation was Kyle Volsburg, 18, of Mercersburg, who had a cold following a third round of chemotherapy for leukemia that had been diagnosed in February.

“Graduation is a huge event in life, and our job is to keep our patients as close to what they would be doing at home as we can,” said Misty Bowman with the Patient and Guest Experience Department. “We wanted to make their day special.”

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