Chelsy's special link to Mater
It's a special day for Chelsy Lopez Defeles.
Today she's not only celebrating her graduation from Mater Education's Diploma of Nursing program, but it's also her 21st birthday.
Chelsy and her family have even more reason to celebrate - she was a Mater miracle baby, born at 26 weeks at Mater Mothers' Hospital in Brisbane in 2001.
"March was my actual due date but I was born three months early. My parents didn't think I was going to make it," Chelsy said.
"I was in NICU until I was full term and mum and dad visited me every day until they were able to take me home.
"I was developmentally delayed and it took me a long time to learn to read and write growing up."
Chelsy is one of more than 90 students graduating as Enrolled Nurses today after completing the 18-month program at Mater Hospital Brisbane.
"It's crazy to think I was born at Mater and now I'm graduating from the Diploma through Mater Education," she said.
"It's been an eye-opening experience but learning how to help others has been rewarding.
"It's a never-ending journey of learning but when you look back, you realise you've grown with the course."
Chelsy said she was inspired to work in healthcare after being a patient herself.
"I was hospitalised at Mater for asthma when I was little. It is a big deal being a patient and it's good to be mindful of that as a nurse," she said.
“I decided to become a nurse because I felt that it was a calling from a young age.
"I want to be able to help others, educate others and empower others through promoting health, wellbeing and care."
Are you passionate about helping others? Apply for Mater Education's Diploma of Nursing program and start studying in January 2023: https://mater.li/ApplyForDoN