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  • Writer's pictureJill Jarrell Newsome


A dear friend of my daughters shared some profound words and said I could share. After a long battle with her health she finally started and finished PA school. She said it was one of the longest, most trying, most delayed journeys of her life. Her journey started a decade ago. She was strong, healthy, intrinsically motivated and ready to pursue a career in medicine. She did not know how humbled she would quickly become in the process.

Right before she started PA school she found herself struggling to even walk. A couple of months later, she spent one of her longest hospital stays due to a Crohn's disease flare up in which the medication induced pancreatitis. She found herself wasting away and was finally shipped out of state to be cared for by her family. This hospital experience was the deciding factor that she had to become a health care provider and advocate for patients like herself that were too weak.

For the next six years, PA programs would hold her seat for another year as she had to consistently decline school due to requiring multiple surgeries and Crohn's flares. She was angry because life was slipping away. She was angry because she felt God had forgotten her. She was angry because all her friends were living beautiful lives. She was angry that medications puffed her up. She was angry that her case was too complex and failed all medications available. At some point she had spent every holiday in the hospital. Many medical professionals treating her told her not go to PA school as her body couldn't handle it and would most likely put her into another flare. If not for the tough love from a mentor, her encouraging friends, her mother's prayers and her faith in God's promises, as she lay lifeless in hospitals, her stubbornness and drive may not have been enough.

Two weeks post op from a major, heartbreaking surgery, she drove out of state to a PA school interview. On the way back home she was caught in a snow storm but thankfully she had her medical supplies with her. She began thinking, why is this PA process so hard? Nothing worth having is ever easy though, right? She was soon accepted, and after more surgeries the following year, including an emergency surgery where she nearly lost her life, she started PA school! She started with, still healing, open incisions, but was healthy and ready.

She said the "to the people who fought for her through prayers, tears, consistent encouragement, YOU were my 'Aarons' and 'Hurs', like in the book of Exodus holding up Moses' arms to win the battle. Y'all held up my arms through my Crohns fight and PA school when I was too weak to.

She has been humbled to the point of not having the strength to go up stairs. And I needed that. I learned what life is like with a chronic disease, chronic pain, losing everything you've ever worked for. I am grateful that God brought me through and taught me mighty lessons.

These verses were my banner throughout PA school and many hospital stays, from Isaiah 40:30-31, "Even youths will become weak and tired, and young men will fall in exhaustion. But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint."

This is perseverance and faith!


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