Anesthesiology, Art & Poetry in Medicine, Clinical, Featured
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Carrying On Via Intent Determination (COVID) 19

Authored by Rachel Boyette and her sister, in-House Magazine editor-in-chief, Lydia Boyette, DO, MBA

I am a 25-year-old resident physician of anesthesiology 

My sister and I are bonded by genetics, anatomy and biology

I am a senior in high school at age 18.

My sister and I are bonded by love and everything in between.


This is our story of how disease and deformities would strike

Which forever altered our lives’ trajectories and career paths alike.

As former patients, becoming caring physicians now is our single aim.

Our destinies in medicine, we are therefore laying claim.

I was diagnosed with syringomyelia and dextroscoliosis with a 55-degree Cobb angle.

Belonging to me were vertebrae which non-invasive treatments could not disentangle. 

Boston braces and physical therapy fell short which led to one conclusion.

Two Harrington rods and 17 titanium screws aided the inevitable T4-L2 spinal fusion. 


Into this world, I was born at 27 weeks gestation.

Weighing 1.5 pounds, I was deemed a miraculous creation.

Prematurely, my sagittal sutures closed as if misconducted.

Craniosynostosis required that my cranial vault be reconstructed.


Fast-forward fifteen years later: it is the year twenty-twenty.

A disease has struck the world and taken lives in plenty.

This is an election year with the same vision as hindsight.

But disease does not discriminate based on political opinion: left or right.


Coronavirus, perhaps in medical school, there was a brief mention.

Currently, the novel mutation has captivated mass global attention.

It overpowered the world infecting others while also spreading.

A downward spiral seemed the direction that we were heading. 


In a high school classroom, dreams of summer I was anticipating.

These were shattered quickly because disease was communicating.

COVID-19 demanded notoriety from those in the highest positions.

Social distancing and quarantine were required by governments and physicians.


Without remorse, the novel virus, like an icy wind, blisters.

My thoughts were frozen on the health of my parents and little sisters.

Those are for who I was worried, I must confess.

For myself, I was not frightened or could I care less.


Sometimes, I feel helpless because I am only eighteen.

I am trapped in my home: a quarantine.

Isolation became mandatory for almost everyone I knew.

All must stay home except for the unfortunate, “essential” few.


I am scared for my sister: it’s true.

Even though you’re at home, I am scared for you too.

I am following your path to medicine with patience.

I am proud though not surprised that your goal is caring for patients.


Physicians were instrumental in our tedious surgeries and pediatric care.

Our appreciation to all health care professionals we desire to share.

Even though, the virus has chained the world with crippling trepidation.

Thank you for bravely Carrying On Via Intent Determination!

Author’s note: All ideas, thoughts, and themes expressed in this poetry piece are solely those of the authors and do no reflect any opinions, ideals, beliefs, political views, or values of any other entities including but not limited to academic, medical, non-profit, or for-profit institutions to which the authors may or may not be affiliated.

Image credit: Images courtesy of the authors. The pictures featured include: Rachel in the neonatal intensive care unit with the authors’ father’s wedding band adorning her tiny wrist, and an x-ray film of Dr. Boyette’s spine prior to her operation.

Lydia Boyette, DO, MBA (1 Posts)

Editor-in-Chief Emeritus (2019-2022)

University of Central Florida

In 2015, Lydia graduated magna cum laude from Campbell University with a Bachelor of Business Administration in healthcare management and a minor in general science. While completing her undergraduate degree as a Campbell "fighting camel," Lydia was inducted into numerous honor societies including Phi Kappa Phi, Delta Mu Delta, Pre-Med Allied Health, and Who's Who Among Students: Class of 2015.

Lydia applied and was accepted into medical school at age 19 and matriculated soon after she turned 20. During her third-year of medical school, she applied and independently pursued a Master of Business Administration separately from her doctoral studies.

Throughout medical school, Lydia wrote stories about her experiences learning clinical skills and reflecting on life through poetry, and she began as a contributing author for in-Training. Before becoming one of the editors-in-chief of in-House, Lydia was editor-in-chief of the Campbell University Community Care Clinic newsletter and is managing editor emeritus of in-Training.

In her pursuit to study anesthesiology, she has published physiology pieces on PubMed and StatPearls, LLC which have been subsequently cited on over 90 different medical journals and academic texts. She has been published by KevinMD, social media's leading physician voice and in Essays & Poems From Medical School, for a piece which she co-authored with the novel's author, Dr. Kamiar Rueckhert.

In May 2019, she graduated cum laude with a Doctorate of Osteopathic Medicine and summa cum laude with a Master of Business Administration. Lydia co-matched in 2019 via the NRMP into an intern position at Campbell University and advanced anesthesiology residency at the University of Central Florida. After residency, Lydia plans to pursue fellowship in pediatric anesthesiology and advanced fellowship in pediatric cardio-thoracic anesthesiology.

Lydia would like to personally thank and recognize two women who have been paramount in her writing education: her beautiful mother for pressing her to strive for success while homeschooling her from Kindergarten through high school and her beloved college English professor and dear friend, Mrs. Susan Cannady, who continues to encourage her to find her own voice.

Disclaimer: The opinions and views expressed in any publication written by the author are those solely of the author. They do not reflect the opinions or views of any university, institution, organization, or medical facility of which the author may or may not be affiliated.

Rachel Boyette Rachel Boyette (1 Posts)

Guest Author

Uwharrie Charter High School

Rachel is a senior at Uwharrie Charter High School with plans of following her oldest sister's path to become a physician. Recently, Rachel was inducted into the Beta Club and served as a junior marshal. By the time she graduates high school, she will already have earned an associates degree from the numerous college courses she has taken simultaneously with her high school classes. Additionally, Rachel is a highly awarded competitive dancer who is passionate about pointe ballet and lyrical acrobatic dance. As someone with an extensive past medical history, born at 27 weeks gestation weighing in at 1.5 pounds, required eight weeks in the neonatal intensive care unit, diagnosed with sagittal crainiosynostosis which required cranial vault reconstructive surgery, and then developed hemolytic uremic syndrome at age 1, Rachel has not only been immersed in, but also has always respected the medical profession. In the same way that physicians saved her life countless times, she plans to attend medical school and focus on the care of pediatric and neonatal patients.