Have you ever thought about what goes through a little two-year olds head when she has to see multiple doctors? I have. In fact, it is mostly fear. When I was just two and a half years old I became very ill due to asthma symptoms, pneumonia and needing to use a nebulizer. Two x-rays and a CT scan were performed to get to the bottom of my ongoing chest issues. Doctors finally found what was wrong and it was life changing for not only myself but my entire family. I had a mediastinal teratoma (rare noncancerous tumor) located in the center of my chest cavity. The tumor was about the size of a grapefruit that was pressing on my trachea and it could’ve caused my airway to collapse. This would have been fatal for me within seconds, so I needed thoracic surgery as soon as possible. Surgery went extremely well and I would make a full recovery following a stay in the ICU.
Fifteen years later, the surgery still defines who I am. It caused me to gain weight at an abnormally fast rate and I grew very rapidly. My parents took me to an endocrinologist, where they were told that they should get me involved in as many physical activities as they could. This caused me to gravitate toward playing sports and this is how I fell in love with the game of softball, which is still a huge part of my life today. Throughout my softball career, I was taught many important life skills that I consider a big help in my every day routine. I’ve learned leadership, teamwork and most importantly, that there’s always room for improvement in anything you do. The scar I see every day is a constant reminder that anything can happen and it can influence the type of person you grow into. It’s also a huge part of why I’m choosing to go into the medical field. I want to be able to study and learn why things, such as my story, happen. It’s also for that next two year old girl that comes into the hospital; I could potentially save her life just as my doctors did years ago.
Going into the medical...
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