Savannah Willis Gets Close-Up View Of Heart Transplant

Savannah Willis at Firelands Regional Medical Center

One of the most powerful outcomes of high school is for a student to know which career path to follow. The Academy Experience program at PHS is designed to allow students, like PHS senior Savannah Willis, to experience careers on-site  and learn in a manner that is not possible inside a traditional classroom.

In her proposal, Savannah indicated she wanted to explore a possible career in nursing, following in her mother’s footsteps.  As part of a rotation at Firelands Regional Medical Center, Savannah has been able to explore the different responsibilities and challenges that nurses in several departments encounter on the job.  

Earlier this month, Savannah was able to observe an organ procurement procedure at Firelands as part of her Academy Experiences.   Savannah shared the following:

"I don’t think I’ll ever forget the feeling that ran through my body. When I put my scrubs on and walked into the operating room I felt like I belonged there. I was so happy to be around people that felt the same way about medicine that I do and I couldn't hold back my ear-to-ear smiles." 

While many rookie and veteran health care providers are understably unsettled by an organ procurement procedure, Savannah, aware of the gravity of what was happening, was taking in as much as possible this life changing experience. After noticing her attention and poise, one of the attending surgeons allowed Savannah to hold and examine the heart that had been removed. This unique opportunity – to hold one of the major organs of the human body – confirmed Savannah’s future career path. 

In her reflection of the experience, she wrote:

"To be honest, maybe I am a little crazy but I don’t really care because that was an amazing experience. I watched the beginning process of life being transferred from one human to another and it was so unbelievably amazing to not only watch but be a part of it and feel organs."

Without the cooperation and investment of time and resources by the individual, companies and institutions, such as Firelands, that have partnered with PHS, these experiences would not be possible. On behalf of Savannah and all other Academy Experience students, thank you!

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