My name is Samantha Mangroo. I am going into my freshman year at Rutgers University, majoring in biomedical engineering. Initially, I had planned on going to St. John’s University and doing their six-year doctor of pharmacy program and was accepted to SJU the day of my father’s injury. I remember being excited to tell him, but then my mom received a phone call saying there had been an accident at work and that my dad was in the operating room. My heart was set on going to pharmacy school and I was interning in the main pharmacy at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital at the time. However, after the accident, I knew I could not leave home and go to New York in the upcoming months because it would make life more difficult for my family. I usually handle all the paperwork and talking to healthcare professionals.
I chose to major in biomedical engineering because of being a part of my dad’s journey to recovery, I have gained an interest in prosthetics and biomedical devices. In addition, I am a strong math and science student and want to be in the medical field. This career path fits me perfectly and I will have the opportunity to help those just like my father in the future.
Furthermore, the accident occurred on December 21, 2018. My dad works for a company called Williams Sonoma in one of their many warehouses. To help carry the large pieces of goods, employees use a forklift machine. My father was in one of the aisles picking up boxes of chairs while another employee came into the same aisle as my dad with a forklift backing up. Only one machine is allowed in an aisle. My dad’s coworker did not check if anyone was in there or look behind to see where he was going. My dad did not see or notice the other employee because the machines have no backup alarms and drive smoothly. The machine crushed my dad’s foot between the employee’s machine and my dad’s machine. He recalls his foot dangling by a thread and feeling a burning sensation. Other employees quickly made a tourniquet which saved him from bleeding out. He was rushed to Robert Wood Johnson and taken into surgery. There was no hope of saving the foot because it was badly crushed. My dad underwent five surgeries in one week. He spent two weeks in the hospital, then went to John F. Kennedy Medical Center for rehabilitation. My dad is a fighter.
In addition, the last few months have not been easy emotionally and financially. There are good days and bad days. On the good days, my dad can laugh and joke about his foot, but on the bad days, he isolates himself and stays in bed all day. The good news is the good days are becoming more frequent. Financially my family is struggling. Currently, neither of my parents are working. My mom has left her job to care for my dad.Ultimately, I would like to thank New Jersey Self Insurers Association and Kids’ Chance of New Jersey for naming me as one of their scholarship recipients. This scholarship helps close the gap of my tuition. I do not have to worry about my college expenses and can now focus on my dad getting better and my education. As a first-generation college student, my education is highly important to me. All I want is to make my family proud and this scholarship has given me the opportunity to do so. Thank you!