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Marquette student graduates after overcoming 10 surgeries, now hopes to turn her pain into purpose

Posted at 5:22 PM, May 23, 2021

MILWAUKEE — Nearly 10,000 people filled American Family Field Sunday to celebrate Marquette's Class of 2021. The in-person event had been up in the air for quite a while. "With the pandemic a year ago we wouldn't have thought this was possible," said Dr. Xavier Cole, Vice President of Student Affairs at Marquette.

Dr. Cole and his team worked to get American Family Field as the venue to accommodate all 3,191 graduates plus the guests each grad was allowed in a socially distanced and safe manner. "This was just the best that we could actually hope for."

One graduate beating the odds and rising above severe obstacles turned her tassel Sunday morning graduating with a nursing degree. Mallory Weist started at Marquette as a freshman 4 years ago but was involved in a severe car crash prior to entering.

"Over The past five years I've had 10 surgeries. I broke my femur in half, I broke my Pelvis and in a few spots I shattered my face and had a few internal injuries," Weist said.

A rough journey but she believes she found purpose through her pain. "But really being in the hospital and what all I went through a really inspired me to be a nurse and why I'm graduating with my nursing degree today."

During her final semesters as a nursing student, Weist was able to participate in her required school clinicals working alongside the same pediatric trauma nurses at Children's Wisconsin hospital. "I remember walking, well, being wheeled off of the floor when I got to go home and I said this is what I wanna do I want to come back and make an impact on kids the same way the nurses made on me."

Weist hopes to stay in Milwaukee and work as a pediatric trauma nurse.

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