Growing up as the daughter of a physician, I spent my days wandering the halls of medical clinics and hospitals and always felt at home. As a young girl, I loved to hold people’s hands when they weren’t feeling well and as I grew older, I continued to do more and more to help. I volunteered at the hospital and soon started to spend every free moment in the neurosurgery operating rooms.
Often times the conversation at dinner revolved around golf because every member of my family played golf and I just found myself tuning them out as they recounted their great putt on hole 18, but as soon as we turned the conversation back to what happened at the hospital, my dinner was forgotten. My father was a great storyteller of all the dramatic incidents of the day whether it was a finding on a chest x ray, a unique diagnosis, or just the day to day doings that other children would find mundane.
I went to college, pre-med as expected and fell in love with speech and hearing classes that I was taking as a minor, microbiology no longer quite as interesting. It was a good thing too that I changed my mind from neurosurgery if you have ever seen me cut a steak! Neurolinguistics, speech science, aphasia was all it took to get me hooked! I wanted to help treat people who suffered from losses and now I had words for all their diagnoses! I have been working as an SLP for 14 years now in a variety of settings and continue to find that each patient challenges me in their unique ways and I think we as SLPs are an integral part of each healthcare team, so here’s to us!
Sarah Donelson, SLP