A career in healthcare is quite the fitting decision for Madison Batte, considering she spent much of her time as a toddler in hospitals.

“When I was about 2 ½ years old, my parents realized I couldn’t bend my left arm,” said Batte, 21, of Brandon.  After initial consultation locally, Batte was taken to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis. “At first, they thought it was osteosarcoma, but thankfully it was an aneurysmal bone cyst,” she siad. The condition involves a benign, blood-filled lesion in the bone that tends to expand. They’re most common around the knee, pelvis or spine, but was quite unique in Batte’s case.

“They told my family it was the first case they’d ever seen on the elbow,” she said, still sporting a scar centered roughly over her elbow that has shortened with time. “They eventually had to install some cadaver bone material on my elbow.”

More recently, her experience watching her father and grandfather deal with heart surgery made enough of an impression on her to keep her all-in on healthcare as she began attending Hinds Community College Jackson Campus-Nursing/Allied Health Center.  “When I saw what the respiratory therapist did in both of their cases, it just really intrigued me,” she said. “I knew what I wanted to be at that point.”

Batte is in her first semester in the college’s Respiratory Care Technology program. Being surrounded by the latest technology in the field and caring faculty has made the transition from high school to college much smoother than she imagined. “I’ve not ever been to a four-year college,” she said. “But, at places where some of my friends have gone to school, they say it’s big and people don’t know your name. Here, I feel like our teachers are like having an aunt figure. I love them to death! And they teach all the right things when it comes to us being respiratory therapists.”

Her instructors find her resilience in dealing with her health issues early in life has translated well to the classroom. “The word ‘courageous’ comes to mind with Madison,” said Lashonda Eades, who is among Batte’s instructors at Hinds. “She’s one of the higher achievers in the classroom, but she’s still not afraid to ask questions when she does not understand a concept.”

“The word ‘courageous’ comes to mind with Madison.”

Find out more about the Respiratory Care Technology program at Hinds CC.

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