By Krisanda Nagayama
Krisanda Nagayama is a recipient of the Queen's Health Systems Native Hawaiian Health Training Scholarship. This is her thank-you letter to donors.
Thanks to your kind donation, I am able to complete my education at Kapi‘olani Community College. I am a second-year student in the Occupational Therapy Assistant program and am finishing up my last semester of the program.
My dedication and passion for this health care field has allowed me to achieve a GPA of a 3.5. After completion of this program, which is scheduled for August 2021, I plan to pursue a career as an occupational therapy assistant in a rehabilitation setting.
I plan to use my knowledge and skills as a healthcare practitioner to serve our local community by helping people recover and regain their independence for those who have experienced illness, injury or a disability.
I am recovering from an injury myself—I have been diagnosed with degenerative disc disease and a herniated disc. While DDD isn’t necessarily a disease, it is a wearing of the spinal disc and cannot be reversed. It is the most common back problem among adults and is inevitable with age but can be self-managed.
Having this injury has given me a greater appreciation for the functional abilities of my body and how our ability to move around independently has been taken for granted. I had to make many adjustments to my lifestyle—the way I performed daily activities, a change in diet, restrictions of activities and most of all, adjustment to pain.
I believe this experience has given me the ability to “feel what the patient feels” or “take a walk in their shoes,” and will shape me into a diligent, empathetic, compassionate therapist as I have experienced living with an injury for the past four months.
Understanding my role as a future OTA, I want to be able to make a difference in the lives of this community and help people live their lives to the fullest, helping them be as independent as possible.
With experience working with people who have had a stroke and brain injury, I truly enjoy watching them progress with therapy.
My academic pursuits would not have been possible without the generous support of the Queen’s Health System Native Hawaiian Health Scholarship fund. Thank you for allowing me to fulfill my personal and professional goals.