At Anderson College, we are constantly amazed by the courage of our students, faculty, and staff. In December 2021 we ran a “My Courageous Moment” story-gathering campaign to celebrate our students, their strength, the moments that have defined their lives and the people who have motivated them to overcome and succeed.
In sharing our stories, we realize we are not alone and are often inspired to recognize, or to find, our own extraordinary courage. We hope the following story moves you, as it has our Anderson family.
On Wednesday, February 27th, 2019, I arrived at the Toronto Pearson International Airport. I hadn’t had any rigors during the last 24 hours while traveling. It was something of a miracle.
Each plane ride I had been on since Tuesday night from Lagos, Nigeria had been free from me having violent, seizure-like shivers that typically doctors would work frantically to try and stop. My body, that had been hospitalized for the previous three weeks, took on a brave front while it was soared from Lagos to Frankfurt, then finally Toronto. Courage, or whatever it was that made my body cooperate midair was pretty cool. I had just had a rigor episode on Tuesday morning in the hospital in Nigeria and then had an intense one on Thursday, a few hours after landing in Canada.
“For me, traveling to Canada for medical intervention was like going on an exotic vacation.”
Most travel is for business or pleasure. Traveling to the Toronto General Hospital felt like it was for pleasure. The happiness in my heart was evident by the semi glazed smile dancing over my face, like I was an ambassador of some premium donut brand. Quite a sight to behold. Imagine a some-what-skinny figure with a transfusion device hanging out of the right side of her chest, grinning on the plane, plastic cup in hand as if to raise to “Cheers” at any minute. For me, traveling to Canada for medical intervention was like going on an exotic vacation. It held the same level of excitement of a Maldives trip.
Being seriously ill, but putting up a strong posture so that the airport officers let me board the planes from one country to the next, was one of the most courageous things I’ve ever done (next to leaving for the US when I was seventeen). Going from hospital to hospital in Nigeria, for what had been diagnosed as malaria and a chest infection, without getting better, is what drove my mother and I to take this step. As someone living with Sickle Cell Anemia, the risks of complications are further increased.
“Now in 2021, I’m thrilled to be forging ahead on my course, continuing my career in education and I look forward to giving back to this beautiful country.”
The story began in January 2019. I had gotten a job as a kindergarten teacher’s assistant, in Lagos. It was a beautiful start of the year, especially because it had proved challenging to land this position even after obtaining my teaching diploma.
Also, I had completely changed career paths from medicine. Spending five tedious years abroad gaining a bachelor’s degree, just to restart from scratch, was not looked upon kindly by the Nigerian workforce. So, when I fell ill just one week after my job started in January, it was devastating. Three weeks later, I found myself in a Canadian hospital recovering.
Now in 2021, I’m thrilled to be forging ahead on my course, continuing my career in education and I look forward to giving back to this beautiful country.
Hold on to your purpose, to what you know deep down you were made for.
Despite challenges and what may seem like a lifetime of pursuit, never let go of the dream your heart desires. Also … forgive yourself as you make your way.
If you have a passion for people and want to make a difference, but are still exploring whether working in a childcare career may be for you, take our “Early Childhood Educator Career Training Quiz”.
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