Spend a Moment with Emily Grabowski

What do you remember most about your illness?

I don’t remember much of my illness – I was heavily medicated towards the end. I do remember how calm everyone was around me. They made sure I had no idea how serious my illness was. It wasn’t until about a year after I got out and did research on my own for one of my classes that I realized how lucky I was. It could have been far worse and I could have ended up on dialysis and a transplant list had it gone unnoticed for just a few more days.

What is your greatest struggle in regards to your foodborne illness? 

Losing weight. My body changed a lot during my time in the hospital and it’s been a long 5 years of trying to get back to the weight I was at before I got sick. It’s not as easy and life has certainly got in the way as I’m trying to finish up my second degree. For a long time after I was sick I wouldn’t touch a salad. I would eat a lot of foods that were bad for me health wise but I felt were safe because they were so heavily processed. I’m no longer afraid to eat fresh produce but I will randomly skip out on a salad or fruit because something in my subconscious stops me.

What’s happening in your life right now? 

I’m going into my seventh and final year of college. After this year I will be the proud recipient of two bachelor degrees in the health care field- one in health care studies and one in diagnostic medical sonography. Even before I got sick I knew I wanted to be in the health care field helping others. I’ve come a long way since I got sick in my freshman year of college and I am thankful for where I am today.