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The Courage to Keep Fighting

“I want to make something good come out of a bad experience. As a social worker, I’ll be there to help others recover, to teach people how to keep fighting.”

September 10, 2015

One New Year’s Day, he started to feel a shortness of breath. Two days later, he was rushed to Bellevue, where he underwent emergency ten-hour surgery for an aortic aneurism.

The night before he was supposed to be discharged, he had a left-brain stroke. “I was told that I won’t walk, swallow or use my left hand again,” he remembers.

It was during his intense rehabilitation process at Bellevue that Seth vowed to himself to fight for a complete recovery.  “I didn’t want to go under, to listen to the negativity. Something made me fight,” he says. “And I vowed that once I was literally back on my feet, I'd play that role for others in a similar situation.”

Now, it’s been three years since his discharge, and Seth is living to his personal promises, proving that former heart surgeon wrong: He’s re-learned how to walk, eat, and use both hands. And he’s determined to one day run a marathon again.

But while Seth had amazing family and friends who cared “tremendously” for him when he was still in the hospital, he had never met anyone under sixty who had gone through the same medical ordeal as he had. Now, he wants to be that support for others, someone who knows what they’re going through. He wants to assist patients—specifically those who don’t have knowledgeable family members by their side—with the complicated paperwork and medical/insurance decisions they’ll have to make. “I can fill that void for others—I know what they’re going through,” he says.

And so he turned to the Graduate School of Social Work to get the training he needs to go out there and “be that person.”

“This happened to me for a reason—I want to make something good come out of a bad experience. As a social worker, I’ll be there to help others recover, to teach people how to keep fighting.”