VERO BEACH, Fla. — Residents in Vero Beach lined the streets to welcome home a fifth-grade student after she took on cancer and won.
Melodie Caudle, who attends Beachland Elementary School, was diagnosed with acute promyelocytic leukemia in August.
It was unclear if she would survive and spent 20 days in intensive care at a hospital in Orlando on a ventilator and had to receive a blood transfusion.
For about eight months, she has been undergoing treatment.
On Friday, she received her last chemo treatment and returned home to a cheering crowd in Vero Beach.
The Indian River County Sheriff’s provided Melodie a blue-light escort from the county line to her home.
“We were driving, and we got to this rest stop, and I thought (my grandmother) was getting pulled over or something. And then all of these cops came up with roses and stuff and this bag, and I said, 'What? For me?'” said Melodie.
Deputies then took her on a surprise detour around the Indian River Mall where her friends from Beachland Elementary lined the road with signs, cheers and honking horns to welcome her back home and congratulate her on beating cancer.
“It was crazy, and they drove us here. We stopped by the Indian River Mall, where the theater is, and all my friends from school were there," said Melodie.
“To just see how their hearts are open for her, I just thank everybody. It’s been such a good day for both of us. And now she’s over with chemo and cancer free. I just thank everybody,” said her grandmother.