Paying forward is local for Mathews nursing student

- Posted on Jul 17, 2013 - 02:16 PM

A Mathews resident is studying nursing at Rappahannock Community College in hopes of spreading care and kindness to others in need, just as nurses did to her when she was diagnosed with scleroderma.

"Now that it’s my turn to grow up, I want to help people. I want to help them the way so many nurses helped me as a child," said Rappahannock Community College nursing student Aryah Hudgins in a release from RCC. "Being sick at a young age is a terrifying thing; however, having a great nurse who understands makes the experience less scary."

Hudgins was diagnosed with scleroderma (an auto-immune disease involving connective tissues, with symptoms that vary from mild to life-threatening) at the age of 10.

"It was my first time in a hospital," she said. "It was the first time I ever met a hospital nurse. As my doctor talked to my parents, the nurse in the room came to sit next to me and hold my hand. I think quite often about the kindness of that nurse, and every other nurse that carried me through such a hard time. It took a large number of nurses to save my 10-year-old life. Now it’s my turn; I want to pay it forward."

Though there is no cure for her disease, it is currently in remission, and Hudgins has no intention of letting it interfere with her life’s goals. "Being sick has changed many things in my life and tested me in many different ways, but I know now that I am strong enough to overcome anything this illness can throw at me."