GASTONIA, N.C. -- Gastonia's CaroMont Medical Center continues to make headlines around the word with its touching graduation ceremonies and portraits for babies who "graduate" from the hospital's neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).
The ceremonies began six months ago, and they celebrate babies who came to the NICU after being born at least six weeks premature.
NBC Charlotte first reported on the ceremonies two weeks ago after previous graduation portraits went viral on social media and various news outlets.
On a warm Tuesday, it was Fitzgerald McGee's turn to have his portrait taken.
His mother, Courtney McGee, gave birth to her son, nicknamed "Fitz", six weeks premature.
"It was really tough," she said. "This was not at all expected."
During the ceremony, several nurses came to the room playing the song "Graduation (Friends Forever)" by Vitamin C and placed a graduation cap on Fitz's head.
McGee began crying during the ceremony.
"I'm just so thankful for the nurses," McGee said." "They have, literally, become like family."
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