Hayrik Abnous was overcome with emotional when his two grandchildren visited him after their respective graduations from medical and law school

By Jason Duaine Hahn
June 25, 2020 08:36 PM
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GMA

A grandfather in Los Angeles was overcome with emotion when his two grandchildren, who recently finished graduate school, surprised him with a visit in their caps and gowns.

Vana Ebrahimi told Good Morning America that her grandparents first came to the United States from Iran in the late 1980s, and her parents followed in 1992. Once they arrived, they endured many days of hard work, but they did it all to pursue a better life.

"For my parents, it was a crazy adjustment being in an all-new country," Ebrahimi told the outlet. "They worked seven days a week and did everything they could for us to get the best education. They sacrificed a lot of themselves for us to be on the right steps."

While it has been a long journey, Ebrahimi and her brother have made them proud by becoming the first members of the family to graduate from college. Not only that, but Ebrahimi recently earned her law degree from Loyola Marymount University — and her brother received his medical degree.

But Ebrahimi's grandfather, Hayrik Abnous, broke his hip and leg before they were to commemorate the occasion, and he has been recovering at a nursing home for weeks.

"My grandpa is everyone's rock," Ebrahimi told GMA of her grandfather. "He's a happy-go-lucky guy. He always has a smile on."

"People tell me I'm always smiling, and I tell them, 'That's my grandpa.' It's a special trait we got from him to be able to find the silver lining in everything," she said.

Coronavirus has kept the family from being able to spend much time with Abnous, and with their graduation ceremonies canceled, Ebrahimi and her brother knew they needed to incorporate him in some way.

Ebrahimi and her brother then visited their grandfather's nursing home dressed in their caps and gowns, and he was able to admire them from a window to maintain social distancing.

“We just decided since we’re both graduating, let’s go and surprise him and wear our cap and gowns,” Ebrahimi told KTLA. “It was a big deal for us to include him.”

Footage of the touching moment shows Abnous breaking down in tears at the sight of his grandchildren.

RELATED VIDEO: Family Hosts At-Home Graduation Ceremony for Daughter

A video Ebrahimi posted to TikTok on May 15 has been liked nearly 430,000 times.

“It was heartbreaking but cute at the same time,” Ebrahimi told KTLA of the video.

“It was a surreal feeling for us both," she added. "It’s the American dream.”