Trina

My family is close. As in across the street. My parents, my sister, my two daughters and my granddaughter are basically sharing two houses. It’s kind of like “My Big Fat Irish Wedding” every day. I love it. Every Sunday we’ll have ten to twenty people over for a big family dinner. If you leave hungry, that’s on you.

I work as a crossing guard. Every day I see around 300 kids. I know almost all of them. Their names, their parents, their family situation. Middle school, those are the hardest years. These kids know I’m here for them, and they come to me with every problem they have. They invited me to their next dance. You know I’m going!

I’ve had a couple serious medical issues. A few years back my arm started to go numb and gray. At the first hospital they said they were going to have to amputate. So I moved over to Rhode Island Hospital. They said I might not have to lose the arm, but I’d lose all function. Well, I busted my butt in PT and I’ve got 95% function back.

But then weirdly four years later to the day—December 20—I felt a rush in my neck and a pop in my head and I passed out. Somehow I got up and walked across the street to my mom's. They rushed me to Rhode Island Hospital and discovered that I'd had an aneurysm.

That can be hard to come back from, but I put in the work and I love my doctors. In the hospital Dr. McTaggart came in and asked “How’s my miracle patient?” because many people had told me this was the type of aneurysm you don’t wake up from. And, I told him, "Well, it seems God's not ready and the devil has a restraining order on me." 

It’s been a tough recovery, but I had like a thousand cards waiting for me when I got home. It made me cry.

I’m so happy to be back at work. I don’t take any day for granted now. If I can help somebody, I do it. Karen the nurse in the ER said I should come back and eat cookies with her on December 20. And I think I’ll do that.

—Trina, Pawtucket RI