BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD)– Russell Ledet served as a security guard at Baton Rouge General Hospital. Seven years later, he returned to the same hospital as a medical student.
“The day I came here for my first surgery clinical for the first time I sat in my car and I cried and I cried and I cried,” Ledet said.
“It wasn’t tears of sadness it was tears of joy because God has brought me a very long way.”
Ledet grew up in Lake Charles with a single mother. He says he never believed college was an option.
“She gave me a quality education, the way she did that was exposing me to books, although I didn’t know I had the capability to go to college I had some information in my brain,” Ledet said.
Ledet took that education, left Lake Charles and joined the Navy, a path that lead him to college.
He worked 16 hour days rushing from school to his job as a security guard at Baton Rouge General.
“I was still able to go to school, so I would go to school from 7 to 3:15.. and then leave there and be here for 4, and then work here until midnight, and then go home and study, wake up and do it again,” Ledet said.
Russell’s boss Kevin Greenhouse said Ledet was very vocal about his goal to become a physician.
“Because he was so vocal about it that some just didn’t believe that he was ever going to pursue that,” Greenhouse said.
Many trials and tribulations lead Ledet to not one, but multiple college degrees.
“I’m kind of living in a dream right now because I never in a million years thought I would be here,” Ledet said.
Ledet reflected on the many difficult times during his journey. “I was digging in the dumpster for dinner at one time, So when I tell you I came out of the mud.. I came up out of the mud.. this is a dream come true.”
Every day, Ledet says he counts his blessings for a life that he never imagined was possible.
“I’m married to my wife, now we just made 14 years, I didn’t grow up with a marriage in my house so every day is new, I love to love her, so it makes it easy to wake up every morning and say this is an exciting day.”
Ledet says his next move will be entering a triple born residency where he will pursue a medical degree in pediatrics and psychiatry.
“I get to love my best friend, I get to be in medicine, I get to be a dad, It’s all exciting.”
Ledet tells his story because he hopes a child will see this and think “I’m next.”