A Boy Who Made His Dreams Into a Reality

The Texas Story Project.

On March 15, 1981, a little boy was born into a world of which he knew nothing. He was born with a mother, father, sister, and brother. His sister is my mother. She is 13 years older than he, so she essentially became his second mother. Luis was born in Brownsville Texas, a small city across from Matamoros, Mexico and half an hour from the beach.

Throughout childhood, he underwent the usual childhood plans to become an astronaut, the president of the United States, a doctor, everything that would require much work and what a lot of people would doubt and shoot you down for the thought. However, he set on being a doctor in his sights and would not let any of the haters get in the way. As a child to influence to keep the dream alive, he set goals to help motivate him to strive in and out of school. For instance, he really wanted to have a Dodge Viper sportscar sometime during his life. As a child being born into a very abusive family (both mom and dad) he also let that be motivation. His largest goal was to get out of the house as quickly as he could. Of course, to have that ability, you have to excel at school.

He said his parents were very verbally and physically abusive to their children. The father had even gone to the extent of beating his brother up to the point of shattering a rib all because he lost the TV remote. Both the father and mother would call his sister names and slap her. He states that the parents were not supportive of most things and would even steal from them whenever they could.

Of course, he was not off the hook and got his fair share of the abuse, however, he would try to stay out of the house as much as possible, staying late in the library. While in the library, he would do his homework and when he was done with his homework either study or read whatever he wanted.

Being that he had his study habits established before entering high school, he made high school look easy, earning the title of valedictorian. Come junior year, the SAT registrations came out. After registering, he decided to buckle down even more and study for the SAT. After taking the SAT, a few weeks later he received the scores and got nearly a perfect score. With an even more boosted confidence, he had to focus more on where he wanted to apply for college. He decided to apply for a few colleges in the state with his dream school college being Yale University, a school most could only dream of getting into. A few months rolled by and he received an envelope from Yale University. Upon opening the letter, he read "Congratulations, you have been accepted." He tells me he nearly had a heart attack from the excitement of opening up the letter as many could only dream of going to an Ivy League school.

Achieving part of his dream of getting out of the house, he was in fact not completely out of the woods and had to do an exemplary job and excel throughout his college career to get into medical school.

Three years rolled by and he must take the MCAT. After an immense amount of studying he excelled in the exam. A few more months passed, and he's a senior in college. It is time to apply to medical school. Luis applied to multiple medical schools including Harvard.

After much praying and several months, he received a letter from Harvard University. He states that when the letter was shipped to his house in Brownsville and he got there, everyone was waiting for him to open the letter. Like an Eminem song, he states that his palms were in fact sweaty from the anticipation. After a very suspenseful tear of the letter and pulling out the letter, he unfolded the paper back and noticed immediately the "congratulations" statement. Excitement and cheers filled the room as he knew where he was going to be going for medical school.

The next year rolled around and Luis is enrolled into medical school at Harvard. Four years and much hard work rolled by. Now he has another milestone he must cross, looking for a place for his residency. At this point he is drowning in debt to the government for student loans, totaling around $75,000. He applied to multiple places including Stanford. After a few weeks, he received phone calls back requesting to interview him. He received a call from Stanford, who told him that they most certainly are interested in him. After the interview process, he hears back from Stanford who, to entice him, have thrown in the added bonus of paying off most of his debt, leaving him with roughly $25,000 to pay. He takes the deal. He is now on his last third of the stretch to get to the point that he wants to be, an anesthesiologist.

He is in his residency stage of four years. He tells me that by the end of the second year he was tempted to give up due to the long hours and late nights. It was very common to pull 80 to 100-hour weeks. Get out at 11:00pm and must be back to the hospital at 5:00am. He tells me that they would commonly give him the hardest cases rather than mixing up between difficult to easy cases. He also states that he did not understand why they would make residents work that long of hours. Would you want a half-awake anesthesiologist administering drugs that could kill you?

After 4 years of very mentally challenging and physically straining residency time, he achieved the credentials of being his longtime dream, an anesthesiologist. I ask him, "If you could go back into the past, would you do it all over again?" He states, "Most certainly. I love my job with a passion. I love to help people, and the lifestyle I live. I would not let that go."

In the end, he became what every stereotypical 10-year-old wants to become, a doctor. After much diligence and perseverance, keeping the dream alive, Luis made his dreams come true.

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