More on Kellie Lim
Another article on the incredible Kellie Lim. It is worth worth reading. Boy I just wish I knew what medical school told Kellie not to apply. I'd give that University a Knucklehead award.
Linked to- Big Dog, Blue Star, Bright & Early, Cao, Morewhat, DragonLady World, Leaning Straight Up, Mark My Words, Pirate's Cove, Pursuing Holiness, StikNstein, Yankee Sailor,
When Kellie Lim was 8 years old and stricken with deadly bacterial meningitis, it was her blind mother who came to her hospital bedside every day and told her to fight.
The disease took both of Lim's legs, one arm and the tips of three fingers on her remaining hand, but she would follow her mother's directive by ultimately whipping it -- and just about every other obstacle that has come along.
On Friday, the former Warren resident, now 26, will graduate near the top of her class from UCLA medical school. She'll walk across the stage on prosthetic legs -- and right into a three-year pediatric residency program at the Los Angeles university.
"She was definitely one of my inspirations," Lim said of her mother, Sandy Lim, who died in 2004. "She showed me that even though one can have a major disability, it doesn't mean that life doesn't go on and that you can't conquer it."
Lim, a self-described tomboy and bookworm, said the meningitis put her in Beaumont Royal Oak Hospital for four months, although doctors never knew how she got it. Her younger brother, Tarring, also contracted the highly contagious ailment but didn't suffer any complications, she said. Lim's family -- including father Norman, a chemical engineer, and older sister Nellie -- all took antibiotics as a precaution.
After doctors amputated her limbs, including her favored right arm, an 8-year-old Lim was forced to learn to write and eat left-handed -- and to walk again.
"It took me a couple of years to even walk on my own," she said. "It was a long hard road, it was a lot of therapy, but I never had to repeat a grade."
Using a motorized wheelchair "separated her from the general population," Lim said, so she concentrated on her schoolwork. After graduating valedictorian from Warren's Fitzgerald Senior High School in 1998, she went on to obtain her bachelor's degree in biology and Asian studies from Northwestern University in 2002.
When it came time to apply for medical school, Lim said she called around to see if she would meet the physical requirements. One prominent university told her not even to apply, she said, although they later backed off that statement when she asked for it in writing.
"That fueled me to just do it," she said. "I'm not the type to let people tell me I can't do something."
While Lim uses prosthetic legs, she does not wear a prosthetic arm. She can give injections and take blood with one hand, despite missing three fingertips.
An allergy sufferer, Lim plans to become a pediatrician specializing in allergy immunology, which will require another three-year commitment. She said she treated patients in medical school with minimal assistance -- "maybe a hand here or a hand there."
As a doctor, "I think there will be situations where I will need some assistance, during some procedures, but I don't think it's unreasonable to ask for someone else's hand to replace the one I don't have," she said. "Just because people have both hands doesn't mean they have an innate ability to perform the procedure."
Labels: Health and Medicine