Personal Narrative: How Hurricane Katrina Changed My Life

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Out of the many events of my life that have molded me to aspire to be a physician, a humid August day in 2003 would be the pivotal moment that introduced me into the path of medicine. My father, brother, and I had been working on the front of our house to add on a porch, when my mother pulled up from receiving a routine chest x-ray due to her having influenza, and even as a nine year old child, I could tell by her expression as she approached us that something had gone terribly wrong. With anguish in her eyes, she said, “They found two spots on my lung, and they say it might be cancer.” and in that instant, my world began to collapse in on me. All I understood about cancer at such a young age was that it killed people, devastated lives, and…show more content…
In August of 2005, Hurricane Katrina hit the Mississippi Gulf Coast, and in one day our home was consumed by seven feet of water that left nothing but sodden memories. In the weeks following, we had to live in a local hurricane shelter while my dad worked, due to him working search and rescue through the fire department. The help we received after Katrina was above and beyond what others were receiving, so I took it as my duty to help out any way that I could. With the shelter filled with the young, old and injured, I would spend the majority of my time bringing trays of food to those who could not make it to the cafeteria. Soon, we began hosting a relief effort in the ruins that once was our home. When I was not helping my dad’s firefighter brothers clear our home of debris, I was in his workshop packing book bags with supplies donated for the coastal students and organizing donated clothes that were to be handed out. Witnessing the tragedies of Katrina and the inadequate medical response persuaded me even further to pursue a career as a physician. The traumatic experience of Katrina and the selfless volunteers I met showed me that the greatest things in life are not what you receive, but how you touch the lives around…show more content…
At my freshman orientation, there were no doubts of what I aspired to be, so I immediately took the title pre-med and began courses in South Alabama’s renowned biomedical science program. Early on in my freshman year, I sat, listening to a speech about becoming an emergency medical technician, and I began to contemplate the pros and cons of this opportunity. My decision to pursue this profession was made based on my inner thirst to improve people’s lives and be the change I always wished to be. In little less than a year, I became a licensed EMT and began my new job at Newman’s Ambulance Services. Becoming an EMT has given me the confidence to handle situations from a critical moment to comforting a panicking patient. Through Newman’s I have witnessed the heartache of a loved one’s family after they have passed, the torment of a wrecked car leading to a friend’s death, and the agony in people’s eyes from disease or injury. Working in medicine has given me the chance to feel a sense of satisfaction and fulfillment from having a patient wholeheartedly say, “Thank you for everything that you have done.” Due to my compelling experiences in medicine, I feel confident that I have found my calling in life. Fulfilling my dream of becoming a physician will give me the chance to change lives for the better, resourcefulness to never feel
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