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Novant nurse shares gratitude after graduation derailed by life-threatening medical issue

Medical problems derailed his dream of becoming a nurse, but that didn't stop him from reaching what he set out to achieve. He kept pushing.

FORSYTH COUNTY, N.C. — Many of us will be counting our blessings during the thanksgiving holiday.
One man says he's especially thankful for finally achieving his goal that was decades in the making.

Medical problems derailed his dream of becoming a nurse. WFMY News 2's Grace Holland shares his story of gratitude.

Counting blessings never stops for Aurturo Williams

“I am grateful every day," he said. “Every day I wake up with passion and purpose. 

This Thanksgiving he adds another.

“I get to live my dream of being a nurse," Williams expressed. 

He finally became a registered nurse in May.

A dream inspired by his mother, who died a day after he was born from complications.

"Healthcare issues that some women have. especially women of color. I chose healthcare and nursing to help," Williams said. 

It's one he spent nearly 20 years trying to achieve. 

“It's not in my timing it's in gods timing," Williams said. 

His first setback was in 2008. His degree put on hold due to a brain aneurysm.

“The worst headache I've ever had in my life. It felt like something popped," Williams explained.

After surgery, he dropped out of school and worked two full time jobs. He got back on track seven years later, joining Novant health as a nursing assistant in 2015.

“I started going back to school little by little, piece by piece. A class here, a class there," Williams added. 

He was set to graduate in 2020 with a scholarship from the health system that covered most of his schooling costs.

Then he got COVID. It set him back even further, but he never gave up.

“It's just life," he said. 

Now, he's caring for patients at Novant Health Forsyth Medical Center the same hospital that cared for him during his time as a patient, and as an aspiring R.N.

“They've helped me to further my education," Williams said. "That's why I'm always grateful. I have nothing to complain about. No complaints at all.”

He's not done with school yet. He's now pursuing a higher nursing degree.

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