When I was 6 years old, she became epileptic and that’s when I knew I wanted to help her. I went to every doctor’s appointment, physical therapy & occupational therapy appointment there was. As I grew older, I anxiously learned more and became more engaged in my sister’s plan of care. This started shaping my career interest in healthcare and the passion of helping others in need.
In college, I studied kinesiology – exercise science to understand the science of movement and the body hoping to become a physical therapist one day. However, things changed and my career path altered. When my sister was 14 years old, she went into chronic respiratory failure and had a tracheotomy to support her breathing.
I cannot begin to explain the number of questions I had beginning with the simplest one, “How can this machine help my sister breathe?” To make things worse, after my sister came home from the hospital, my mom said “You won’t be able to take care of her by yourself anymore. You will need me, dad, or a nurse here with you.” I’ve always taken care of her if my parents went out for a little bit – she was my baby sister.
At that moment, I decided to take matters into my own hand – my destiny will become what I make of it. I began searching for post-graduate schools I could apply to and later received my Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Care from The University of Texas Medical Branch. I am now a registered respiratory therapist (RRT), fulfilling my duties as a big sister who was inspired by her little sister.
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