Cap, Gown and New Heart: Bay Area High School Senior Graduates at Packard Children’s After Getting New Heart

For Release: June 04, 2012

PALO ALTO, Calif.  On Tuesday, June 5, 17-year-old Gunn High School senior William Wylie-Modro of Palo Alto will don his hospital gown for a graduation cap and gown, as he prepares to receive his diploma in a ceremony held at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford.

This milestone is enormous; just weeks ago, William was down the hall being prepped for heart transplant surgery. An aspiring aerospace engineer, William--born with only a single pumping heart chamber--has been hospitalized since early April, living on the brink of cardiac arrest. On Friday, May 4, a day his family will never forget, the amazing news arrived that a donor heart was available. "I don't know how much longer he would have survived," remembers his mother Sheron.

In an extremely rare series of events, William was one of three young adults to receive a heart transplant at Packard Children’s in just three days—all performed by the same surgeon. Twelve hours after heading into the operating room, William returned to the cardiovascular intensive care unit with a new heart, and a new chance to fulfill his dreams.

When:   Tuesday, June 5 at 10 am

Where:  Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford, 725 Welch Road, Palo Alto 94302

What:   17-year-old William Wylie-Modro will receive his diploma in a graduation ceremony held at Packard Children’s hospital school. He will be joined by 10+ classmates, all in cap and gown, hospital Palo Alto Unified school teachers and students playing kazoos, members of his medical and care teams, and his high school principal. The ceremony will be followed by a special cake celebration.


Reena Mukamal

About Stanford Medicine Children's Health

Stanford Medicine Children’s Health, with Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford at its center, is the Bay Area’s largest health care system exclusively dedicated to children and expectant mothers. Our network of care includes more than 65 locations across Northern California and more than 85 locations in the U.S. Western region. Along with Stanford Health Care and the Stanford School of Medicine, we are part of Stanford Medicine, an ecosystem harnessing the potential of biomedicine through collaborative research, education, and clinical care to improve health outcomes around the world. We are a nonprofit organization committed to supporting the community through meaningful outreach programs and services and providing necessary medical care to families, regardless of their ability to pay. Discover more at