Teen Marine Recruit Honored at Hospital After Missing Graduation Due to Medical Emergency

Micah Wooten, 17, tried to rise to attention as hospital staff played the Marines' Hymn after his surgery.

A 17-year-old U.S. Marines recruit was looking forward to his graduation at the end of the grueling 13-week boot camp, but a medical emergency landed him in the operating room the day of the ceremony.

That’s why hospital staff made sure he received the special honor he deserved, playing the Marines' Hymn and lining the hallways as Micah Wooten was being transported to a new room after his emergency surgery.

“He was laying in the hospital bed, but he stiffened himself up and perked himself up and he was smiling,” his mom, Missy Wooten, of Newberry, South Carolina, told InsideEdition.com. “He really loved it. He said it just made him feel so proud. He felt such a sense of ownership of what he had been through.”

She explained that she and her family, including her seven other kids, had been getting ready that morning to attend Micah’s graduation.

“It had been 13 weeks – that’s how long boot camp is,” Wooten said. “There had been an emotional roller coaster all summer, and missing him, and that kind of thing.”

That’s when they received a call that Micah had suffered a medical emergency and would be transported from the Military Acute Care Department to the local Beaufort Memorial Hospital to have a minor surgery.

The procedure was uneventful, and when hospital staff were preparing to wheel him into post-op, they told his family their plans to celebrate his graduation, even though his medical emergency caused him to miss it at the base.

“They lined the halls and as they wheeled him out of recovery to go to post-op, they cheered and clapped and played the hymn for him to celebrate what he had actually missed that morning,” Wooten said. “The tears were flowing. I had to pull myself together to try to video what I knew was going to happen.”

The nurses explained that because the hospital was near a military base, many of them had loved ones in the military or had come from a military family.

“I’m sure they had hundreds of other patients at the time but to take time out of their day to do that was super special for him, and for us as parents,” Wooten said. “We just can’t thank them, enough for doing it.”