“Ten days before my due date, my mom had to go into emergency c-section,” said Emily Bolling, a University of Mississippi senior speech pathology major. “This was because I was having seizures, and the doctors were afraid I would have a stroke during labor.”
Bolling is now studying at UM with plans to complete her degree in May of 2018 and attend graduate school.
“The nurses thought that it was affecting my brain, and told my mom that I might have brain damage and be intellectually disabled,” said Bolling.
To everyone’s surprise, the last testing showed Bolling was going to be okay.
The Mobile native returned to their home in Gautier, where the family lived about four years.
“When I was four years old, my father passed away from heart disease, and my mom just could not live in the house anymore, so my mom, brother, sister, and I moved to Pascagoula.
Bolling enrolled in the University of Mississippi in 2014 with the idea of being a teacher.
“At first I told my mom I wanted to go into teaching, because that’s what I have always been around,” said Bolling. “But my mom’s friend was a speech pathologist and had heard stories about all these things she does with kids.”
Bolling later shadowed her mother’s friend and fell in love with the occupation.
“Working with Emily is actually really easy,” said lifelong friend Anna Lemaitre, who is also studying speech pathology. “So, I learned a lot about children from just watching her and seeing how she does it.”
Lemaitre and Bolling are from the same hometown and met each other through school in the first grade. The two have been friends ever since, and are currently taking classes together at UM.
“I just think about things differently when kids do have disabilities,” said Bolling. I do not see them as a kid that is different; just a kid that needs helps communicating to the world.”
Bolling graduates in May and plans to attend graduate school for two years. “My lifetime goal is to open up a private clinic for kids,” said Bolling, “and to be the speech pathologist there, and to help kids be able to communicate when they need to the most.”