Morgan Hood ('17) | Biology

morgan hood

The biggest worries most freshmen have are adjusting to college life and finding a solid group of friends. Morgan Hood, a biology major from Abilene, has had to balance these typical concerns while also fighting a major health battle. 

Watch a video of Morgan’s story produced by Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

Morgan has struggled with health issues for a large portion of her life. During her sophomore year of high school, she was diagnosed with a virus in her spinal column and spent two weeks in the hospital. She spent her junior year in and out of hospitals searching for a treatment for a gastrointestinal disease called gastroparesis. Last December, she was finally able to receive a gastric neurostimulator, or gastric pacemaker, which relieved much of her pain and allowed her to resume a normal life.

Supportive community

College was put on the back burner while Morgan confronted her health problems but ACU was always an option. Her dad is a former track coach for the university, and the school has been an important part of her family for many years. Ultimately, Morgan says, she chose ACU because God made it clear this was the community she needed to be a part of.

Morgan has continued to deal with undiagnosed health struggles but is thankful for the support of the ACU community, particularly her professors.

"The professors are very understanding and that’s something I probably wouldn’t get anywhere else," Morgan said. "They definitely care. It's nice to go to a school where it's not all about the school work."

What's important

Her health problems have also given Morgan a different perspective on what's important in life. "While people were stressing out about high school stuff, I was trying to conceal what I was going through," Morgan said. "I attempted to do everything to the fullest, but my body couldn't do it."

One of the biggest lessons Morgan has learned from these experiences is that it's OK to open up to people. She spent most of high school concealing the truth of her health problems from classmates, not wanting their pity or to be treated differently. Since coming to college, she has grown and now has more confidence to share with others what is going on in her life.

Since childhood, Morgan had dreamed of being a dentist but, because of her pacemaker, she cannot work with dentistry equipment. After her stay at Nationwide Children's Hospital, she became interested in anesthesiology and hopes to spend her life helping children growing up in similar situations.

Morgan  remains optimistic and trusts God to use her struggles for a higher purpose.

"I see God in all of this," Morgan said. "God was evident in everything, even my decision to come to ACU."


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