I wasn’t born in Texas, but I got here as fast I could. Back in 1990, my Dad and Mom moved my sisters and I down to Rosharon to be closer to my Nan and Papaw. Nan and Papaw had met in the Army during WWII and, after a quick stay in New York, found themselves in Texas.
Five years later, an irresponsible and immature teenage driver hit my sister Amanda with his car. She was life flighted downtown to Memorial Hermann Hospital where she passed away while waiting for a doctor to see her. She was 15. That was my first experience with our healthcare system and even at 10 I could see it was broken.
After graduating from Alvin High School in 2002, I followed in my mother and Papaw’s footsteps and went to work for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. I worked for eight years at C.T. Terrell as a Correctional Officer (Guard). Ever since Amanda was taken from my family, I knew there were dangerous people in the world and that sometimes they had to be locked up for the protection of the community. But even prisoners deserve to be treated humanely. After I saw a Captain deny an inmate his insulin for no reason other than that he didn’t like him, and face no consequences, I quit.
Over the next few years, I worked at Kroger, Burger King, Zieglers in Dickinson, and then UTMB as a patient transporter. Between those jobs, I was unemployed so I know just how much of a difference having any job can make to a person’s life. Today, I’m blessed to work as a forklift operator for a contractor.