Thank you for choosing me as one of your recipients this year. Being an only parent, every penny counts! While I was in the surgical technology program, I lost my father to sepsis and then two uncles also passed away. I still graduated with a 3.83 GPA, and in order to achieve that, the majority of my time was spent on studying. I know my children were feeling left out, but I was doing this for us and I knew that it was only temporary.
I have been a widow for the past four years. My husband felt sick one day and at 3 a.m. (on his birthday actually), he aspirated on vomit. He never drank alcohol and wasn't a smoker. It was just an accident, trying to catch his breath. Panic set in and triggered a heart attack. He was unconscious when the EMS drivers came. He was on life support for three days and was pronounced brain dead from lack of oxygen at 43 years old. Our children were 6 and 7.
I was working part time when my husband passed away but that summer, the cost of a sitter to watch my kids would have defeated the purpose of working. I get my husband's social security, but that is not forever, so I knew I needed to go back to school.
Years before, I had worked at St. John's Hospital in Detroit as an environmental services aide cleaning the operating rooms. I was able to see some parts of surgery through the window as I walked by and it fascinated me. I knew I wanted to work in the healthcare field. I talked with a few nurse friends about the different types of positions, and surgical technology was the field I felt was best for me. After Mike's death I knew I needed more than a job, I needed a career. I started taking my prerequisite classes while my kids were in school and did homework after they went to bed. I could not have gotten through this without the help of friends and my mom, who moved in with me so I could do my clinicals.
I am hoping to find employment within the next couple months and build up my portfolio. Once my kids are a little older, I have been considering working for the Gift of Life. With the help of family, I decided to donate Mike's organs to the Gift of Life. It was the hardest decision I have ever had to make. I know I would have such empathy for any other family that goes through that.
I finally graduated at 46 years old. It's never too late to go back to school and make yourself better. You just need to take the first step and believe in yourself!