(BROWNWOOD, Texas) – Crystal Neudigate-Sharp did not want a medical condition to stop her from earning an Emergency Medical Technician certificate at Texas State Technical College.
“I wanted to teach my children that once you start something, you need to complete it, no matter the obstacles,” said Neudigate-Sharp, a candidate for graduation this semester.
After being injured in an accident, she suffered an allergic reaction to the medication and was without oxygen for 24 minutes.
“The doctor told me that I did not wake up during that time,” Neudigate-Sharp said. “I spent the weekend in the Brownwood hospital but was later transferred to a Dallas hospital.”
She spent three months last summer recovering, which included physical and occupational therapy. Neudigate-Sharp remains in speech therapy, but that did not stop her from returning to school this fall.
“I was so grateful for the online EMT program. I can say I have successfully completed the program despite my physical limitations,” she said.
It took the help of the Brownwood campus staff to get her back on track.
“Everyone at TSTC was very supportive. They were more than helpful,” she said. “They wanted to see me succeed.”
Teresa Phillips, an enrollment coach at the Brownwood campus, was one of those who made an impact on Neudigate-Sharp.
“Crystal sets goals for herself, and then she is very persistent to follow through and work hard to accomplish the goals she has set for herself,” Phillips said.
Neudigate-Sharp’s interest in the field grew while watching her husband, who is also an EMT.
“I had stayed at home for 13 years and knew one day I would go back to school,” she said. “That one day came when my husband said, ‘It’s time to go to school.’”
Neudigate-Sharp enjoys the camaraderie that EMTs have during the workday.
“There is a closeness in that community,” she said. “It felt like the right job for me.”
During TSTC’s virtual graduation celebration on Dec. 10, Neudigate-Sharp will be waiting with her family to see her name appear on the video.
“My kids are so excited for me. They are ecstatic that I have gone through the finish line,” she said. “They have been encouraging me throughout this whole process.”
Neudigate-Sharp looks forward to the day when she can use her certificate to help someone else.
“God is seeing me through this entire ordeal,” she said. “I still pray that I will be able to serve my fellow citizens. I cannot wait to do what I was trained to do.”
To learn more about the Emergency Medical Services program at TSTC, visit https://www.tstc.edu/programs/EmergencyMedicalServices.