Loyola University medical student Ali Hausfeld overcame the plane crash that killed her father and sister and the car crash that injured her and her boyfriend. Charlie Wojciechowski reports.
A first-year medical student at Loyola University considered dropping out of school after her father and sister died in a tragic plane crash, but four years later she preparing to graduate and will be completing her residency at the university of her choice.
During her first year at Loyola University Chicago’s Stritch School of Medicine, Ali Hausfeld learned that her father and sister died in a plane crash on their way to pick her up for Easter weekend. The two had set off from Dayton, Ohio and crashed moments later after the plane’s engine died.
Hausfeld considered dropping out of school, but her mother convinced her to continue.
"It was extremely difficult and I didn’t know if I could continue in medical school or if I needed to be home with my mom. I think with the support I had here at Loyola and the support of my family, I was able to continue on with medical school," Hausfeld said.
Fewer than three years later, Hausfeld and her boyfriend were involved in a head-on collision after another driver fell asleep at the wheel. Hausfeld suffered five broken ribs, a broken hip and a dislocated ankle.
After surgery and months in physical therapy, Hausfeld returned to her studies and developed an interest in internal and emergency medicine.
"My circumstances have given me perspective that make me calm during stressful situations. I think this will help me in my career, particularly if I pursue emergency medicine," Hausfeld said.
Hausfeld learned earlier this week that she had been matched at a residency program following her graduation in May. At Loyola’s Match Day ceremony Friday, Hausfeld learned she will be completing her five-year residency in internal and emergency medicine at Ohio State University, a university much closer to home.
She was surrounded by more than 20 family members, friends and more than 100 classmates when she picked up the sealed envelope revealing her residency location. Hausfeld received one of the 27 slots available nationwide in her field of study and the only slot available at Ohio State.
Although Hausfeld’s father and sister weren’t with her to celebrate this moment in her career, she said she knows they are proud of her and said she's excited for the next chapter in her life.
"I'm happy to be going home with my mom and cousins," Hausfeld said.