Passion for Baseball Gives Way to Pursuit of Medical Career – CSUSM NewsCenter

Challenging transition

Luis was a single father trying to support two boys. Shortly after Isaias was born, Luis took a job at the hospital as a transporter, helping to move patients and equipment throughout the building. He previously worked at a grocery store, but wanted the hospital job so he would have health insurance for his family. Over the course of 20 years at the hospital, Luis eventually worked his way into his current position as a CT technician.

Isaias mother was never a consistent presence in his life as she struggled with drug addiction and spent time incarcerated. Isaias lived with her for a short period when he was in second grade, but it was a stretch marked by frequent absences, poor nutrition and academic struggles.

Moving in with his father changed everything. Isaias began to thrive in school, even qualifying for the Gifted and Talented Education program, more commonly known as GATE.

Though money was tight, Luis made sure his boys, both talented baseball players, had an opportunity to play travel ball, even when it meant borrowing money.

A first-generation college student, Isaias largely navigated the higher education process on his own. He applied to a handful of universities and learned of his acceptance to CSUSM in April 2014. A few months later, he was offered a scholarship to play baseball for the Cougars.

But the transition to college proved challenging. Isaias grade-point average was under 3.0 after his first semester, a disappointment for someone used to consistently being over 3.5.

I didnt know how to be a good student, Isaias said. I just thought I could get by like I did in high school.

Isaias grades slowly improved, but he still wasnt achieving the results he expected from himself. Compounding his difficulties, he learned that his brother was sick again. Josiah was diagnosed with pleural effusion, a buildup of fluid around the lungs, and valley fever, which is caused by a fungus that enters a persons body through their lungs.

The disappointment over his grades, coupled with his brothers illness, provided a wake-up call.

Isaias rededicated himself to his studies. He became more disciplined and focused on improving his time management. When it came to his brothers health, seeing doctors once again provide care that was both skilled and compassionate reaffirmed his decision to pursue a career in medicine.

Isaias still remembers one doctor who knew his father assure Luis that he didnt need to worry, that the hospital staff would take care of Josiah.

Hearing that and seeing that, thats something that I would love to tell people someday Im going to take care of you, Isaias said. My dad was so thankful and just happy to hear those words of affirmation.

The way that doctor showed compassion and empathy toward my brother, thats something that I want to do in the future.

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Passion for Baseball Gives Way to Pursuit of Medical Career - CSUSM NewsCenter

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