Monday, January 11, 2010
Biology project saves life of Fort Worth ISD teacher’s daughter
A student chose to write about diabetes for his science project. When his teacher proofread his paper, she realized her daughter Hope was experiencing those same symptoms.
Lori Roque enjoys teaching -- especially since one of her students inadvertently saved the life of Roque’s 14 year old daughter, Hope.
“I had given my Honors Biology students a research assignment on a disease that effects multiple organ systems,” said Roque. “So the kids wouldn’t procrastinate, I made them submit an outline or summary of their research by Friday, Dec. 18.”
On the Sunday before Christmas as Roque was reading the outlines, she found one describing symptoms being experienced by her daughter. After reading it to her husband, they decided to take Hope to the doctor.
“At the doctor's office, I told them that I wanted to have her tested for diabetes. After doing some tests, the doctor told us to take her to the Cook Children's Hospital emergency room right away. My daughter had Type 1 (juvenile) diabetes and it was approaching a life-threatening stage.”
Hope remained in the hospital until Christmas Day afternoon. Because her body had stopped producing insulin Hope was “metabolically starving to death.” Fortunately, she can regulate her diabetes with supplemental insulin now.
“The doctor told me I 'owed' a consultation fee to the student who wrote the project outline I had read. Jokingly, I agreed and he said, ‘No, really. This was very serious.’"
As for the biology student, he had no idea what had happened. A mundane and insignificant homework assignment turned out to be life-changing.
“While the diagnosis was not good news, I realize that without it we might not have realized what was going on until it was too late,” said Roque. “I thank God that I decided to teach, that the student turned in his assignment on time, and that the T-MATE program helped me become a teacher at Southwest where he would be in my class!”
Lori Roque is a product of the TMATE-FWISD program. TMATE stands for Tarleton Model for Accelerated Teacher Education. The program is a collaboration between Fort Worth ISD and Tarleton State University. TMATE, which began in Fort Worth ISD in 2001, is specially designed for adults who have previously earned their bachelor's degree and who now seek to make a career transition into teaching. Once hired, they continue coursework and testing during their first year of teaching. After passing all required certification exams and successful completion of one year of teaching, they become fully certified.
Source: Fort Worth ISD