For those reading this you might already know that I am a Pre-Med and Pre-Law student not because one day I want to be filthy rich, but because I truly enjoy helping people. My inspiration for such drive came from certain amazing people that I met along a very ruff time when I was growing up. On Christmas Eve when I was only eight, my house caught on fire. My sisters and I were inside, but were saved by the firemen that are now like our family and part of my inspiration. They managed to save us all. My oldest sister suffered back burns, my second sister had nerve damage, and as for me everyone thought I just had lung damage from too much smoke inhalation. Over the course of the next year I had incredible respiratory problems. My brother would say that when I slept I sounded like a baby lion roaring so he nick named me leonsita (in English it means little lioness) and till this day he still uses it. He took about a year for my family and doctors to realize something wasn’t right. Finally, it was discovered that my trachea had shrunk to the size of a coffee straw and was continuing to shrink. I WAS LUCKY. Afterwards, I was transferred from hospital to hospital where I saw endless amounts of doctors that performed minor surgeries on me. Some were successful for a few weeks than I would get worse AGAIN.
That’s when I met someone else that I consider to be part of my inspiration for helping others. His name is Dr. Gerber (YES, like the baby food). He worked at the Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago at the time and he was the only surgeon in the area that was willing to perform the surgery I needed on a nine year old. My mother was told that if I did not have the surgery I would die, but that the chances that I would be able to speak after the surgery would be slim to none. THAT’S WHY IF ANYONE EVER WONDERES, I LOVE TO TALK AND TALK AND TALK SOME MORE. I had a tracheal resection and anastomosis and my heart had to be moved a bit also to accommodate for support. I spent about two years in and out of the hospital, I was in two comas, after which I had to relearn how to walk, and I have had more than 8 major and minor surgeries. Even though it was a ruff situation I can truly say that I do not regret having experienced it because along the way through that ruff path I met the people that have inspired me to help others. There are people out in the world that don’t think twice about putting there life at risk to save a total stranger and that’s exactly what I strive to be one day.
I would like to dedicate this blog to the fireman that saved my life and family, and to Dr. Gerber and his team.
Author: Noelia Galvez