From Riley Kid to Med Student
February 12, 2016
Topics: Heart (cardiology)
My heart belongs to Riley because the staff here gave me the chance to live the life I do today.
I recently began my first inpatient pediatric rotation as a third year medical student on the pediatric cardiology floor. I was born on April 30, 1991 in respiratory distress. I was transferred to Riley that day and at 16 days Dr. John Brown performed open heart surgery for a congenital heart condition called a pulmonary artery sling. I was followed through high school by Dr. Joyce Hubbard, a cardiologist at Riley. In February of 1995, I broke out in a mild case of chicken pox that turned serious. I was transferred to Riley a second time for a hospital stay of three weeks battling bacteremia and undergoing debridement of an infection that had abscessed in my chest. While I do not remember much of this stay, I do remember squeezing my dad’s hands tight, the glass elevators, the stuffed animals, and leaving the hospital on my fourth birthday in a red wagon (but not before stopping for mint chocolate chip ice cream at the cafeteria on my way out.)
Although I don’t remember much, my experience as a Riley patient has had such a profound impact on my life. No one in my family is a doctor but somehow this idea planted itself in my head early on. When I voiced my plan to pursue medical school, my mom had wonderful things to say about the surgeons, cardiologists, and infectious disease team at Riley. I was inspired. I wanted to do something to pay it forward.
My health complications were minor in comparison to the struggles that I see Riley families facing on a day to day basis as a student. I hope that by writing this story I can provide parents and kids with hope: anything is possible with the Riley team behind your child.
I am a third year medical student who ran my second full marathon this past fall. During my long runs I usually spend a lot of my time being thankful.
My heart is full of gratitude.
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