patient, William

Sep 09, 2020 / Rheumatology

Share Your Story: A New Outlook

Meet William, a patient seen by our Rheumatology experts. Learn more about his journey below.

Blog written by William of Lubbock, TX.

On February 16, 2017, I was torn from my sleep with excruciating pain in my ankle. My parents rushed me to the hospital and fearing the unknown, I grappled with the horrifying idea that there was something wrong, very wrong. I struggled to explain this strange, unrelenting agony, that had started to spread to other joints, to hysterical parents and confused doctors.
Various doctors ran different blood tests and discovered that I have the genetic defect HLAB-27, which often leads to various autoimmune disorders, such as juvenile arthritis. After this initial diagnosis, we knew that Scottish Rite for Children was the only place I needed to be. I initially saw Dr. Wright, although I did see various other doctors throughout my care, she remained a constant on my case. She provided exceptional medical care and took interest in me as a human, not just a patient. Through the years, Dr. Wright learned about my hobbies, interests and school life. I loved to talk with her about my rigorous schedule – from swimming practice early in the morning to mock trial practice late at night, she took great interest in my academic success. She encouraged me to pursue any career that I wanted, as she thought I would be successful no matter what I chose to do.

I told her that I wanted to be a doctor and for the first time in my life, I was able to see real-life, a living example of someone who embodied everything that I wanted to be.

From this point on, she regularly asked about how school was going and my plans for college. I will never forget her support and belief in me. I am about to begin my journey at Harvard University, with the goal of obtaining a degree in biomedical engineering and then wish to attend medical school.
Throughout my care, it took some trial and error until we found a medication that worked, but once we found that special medicine, my condition began to improve. I realize that arthritis is something I will live with forever. Whether or not I realized it at the time, my diagnosis gave me a new perspective on life. One that allowed me to be thankful for the things I took for granted, such as being able to walk. I am eternally grateful that when I wake up, I can bend my legs and walk. I believe this second chance and new outlook would not have been possible without Scottish Rite. I am currently in remission and have been symptom-free for close to two years.
Scottish Rite is more than just a hospital. Not only is it the place where I received the medical care that allowed me to walk again, but also a place that gave me a renewed sense of hope for the future of medicine and medical care. I felt cared for, my feelings were valued and I didn't feel stigmatized for having a condition.



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