For most high school seniors, graduation is a day focused on them. As a general rule, parents, siblings, relatives, and non-graduating friends take the opportunity to honor the achievements of the graduate. However, in a display of selflessness, one graduating senior in Gig Harbor, Washington, used graduation as an opportunity to honor a friend who was tragically killed at the age of sixteen.
When eighteen-year-old Lexie Ellis marched across the platform to receive her diploma, she made sure that her friend Emily Ramm was there, too. If not physically present, at least in spirit. Using the space on top of her mortarboard, Ellis attached photos of herself and Ramm arm in arm, smiling and laughing together. Ellis also included a shout-out to Western Washington University, where she will be attending this fall.
Framed by the pictures, the words “WWU Bound” is a promise that Lexie will never forget her friend Emily. In fact, the context of the moment and her decorations are a promise that, like on graduation day, Lexi will be taking Emily to college with her in her memory. Two friends moving on in life as it should have been, if not for a tragic accident.
Patch provides some of the details about the tragic day when Emily Ramm lost her life:
Early in the morning on Aug. 13, Ramm and a friend set out to watch a meteor shower in Silverdale. They decided to climb up on the roof of Silverdale Elementary, which was under construction. As they were climbing, Ramm slipped and fell. Her friend, Raj Raman, tried to catch her, but she slipped through his hands.
Ramm suffered a severe brain injury. She died later at Tacoma General Hospital.
On a GoFundMe Page set up after the death of their daughter, Emily’s family wrote:
On August 13, 2016 we said goodbye to our sweet Emily. Emily suffered a severe brain injury with numerous fractures from a fall. As a family we decided to donate a few of her organs to insure Emily lives on and is able to help give life to others. Emily donated her two Kidneys and her Liver. We have been in contact with both of her kidney recipients and we are working to find the liver recipient. Our family (new and old) plans to have a family reunion soon. If you knew Emily, you know she loved to help others. She would of been so proud to know who her kidneys went to and the lives has changed forever.
No doubt, those who received her organs will remember and be thankful for Emily Ramm for the entirety of their lives. Likewise, her friend Lexie will remember her, too. If the display on her mortarboard is any indication, Lexie Ellis is going to do her best to ensure that the memory of her friend Emily Ramm is never forgotten.