I was sitting in a daze in a cold and uninviting waiting area outside an emergency operating room about one month before my high school graduation in 2005. I listened to the robotic beeps of medical machinery when I realized my life was about to change forever.
Earlier that night, I was sitting on the couch watching TV when I heard panicked pounding on the front door. When I answered the knocks, a policeman stood on our front porch drenched head-to-toe from the rain. I'll never forget the look of fear in his eyes when he told me to get my mom and follow him quickly.