The story of my life starts pretty modestly, I guess. I grew up in a city located in the central western region of Brazil called Goiania. There, my parents were the proprietors of a private day care facility, which I and my siblings attended during childhood. Seeing my parents throughout the day made me feel loved and protected, and this resulted in me being a rather bold child, who did not refrain from experiments and facing life head on. However, only one second is enough for one’s life to change, for one’s life to be extinguished. I was only five years old when I was electrocuted by a loose cable. The skin on my body, including my scalp, suffered severe burns, there was a scent of burning flesh pervading the air. My parents rushed to my side, and realized to their horror, that I was not breathing. My father, who lacked medical training, gave me CPR and took me to the hospital, and after eight days in a coma, I finally woke up, asking for them. It was a close call, everyone said.
This terrifying experience initially left me with a sense of distrust towards the medical profession. I was forced to undergo numerous, continual treatments, such as debridement of burns, which resulted in scars I still have today. They will never pass. They are a constant reminder of what might have been, a reminder that every day after this event is a miracle, a blessing. Primarily, these treatments made me hate the medical field, the doctors and smiling nurses, for they were putting me through more, after all I had already been through. However, as time passed by, and as I matured, I realized how essential the medical field is, how vital to human life, and how if it was not for the hard work of those same doctors and nurses, I would not be alive today, applying to your university.
Subsequently, due to my parents’ divorce, my siblings and I moved with my mother to United States because she wanted us to get educated here. She opened a dermatology clinic in Fort Lauderdale, FL and got a couple of doctors working for her. It was my privilege to be able to help around the office, along with my sister. One experience I will never forget was when a patient was told to see the oncologist because of a suspected mark on her face that was later diagnosed as skin cancer. I remember how the doctor handled the situation and I was inspired by his professional demeanor. Having worked several years at the clinic, I became passionate and motivated to pursue a career in the medical field.
Like it mostly happens in life, misfortune never sleeps and on mother’s day 2007, my life changed completely. My mother had been involved in a car accident, and due to the extensive internal hemorrhage, there was little the doctors could have done for her. It was just a matter of time. Seeing her like this, the Hero of my life at her deathbed, not by a natural course of events, but stolen from me, was one of the most traumatic experiences in my life. It made me realize later how perfect and fragile our body truly is, and being able to have the knowledge to understand and treat patients is what I look forward to in my medical education.
While I was working on my Bachelor degree, I decided that I wanted to be involved in this field in order to obtain first hand experience that will prepare me for a career in medicine. As a result, I acquired the Surgical Technology certificate. As a surgical tech, I experience and help handling surgical tools to the surgeon during many types of surgeries, like open heart surgeries, brain surgery, cystectomies, knee replacement, robotic prostate surgery and colectomies, just to mention a few. The very privilege of being in the operating room allowed me to learn and advance my cooperation and communication skills. It also further nurtured my passion for medicine by observing the life changing experiences that many patients go through, because of the surgery they undergo and to be able to have that satisfaction to change lives is why I believe medicine is my life calling.