MCH Helping Make Dreams Come True

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MCH Helping Make Dreams Come True

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Kathryn Jones is living proof that age is just a number. In her experience, there is no such thing as being too old to accomplish your dream.

Jones started her college education at Thomas University in 1975; however, the tragic loss of her son Edgar led her to selflessly put her dreams on hold and refocus on her family and furthering her career.

During that career, Jones had many accomplishments—she worked at Archbold Memorial Hospital as a document coordinator for 13 years, served as treasurer for the City of Pelham, and was also Pelham’s city manager.

But after she retired, one goal still remained.

Most senior citizens dream of the carefree days retirement brings. Not Jones.

In 2011, she returned to college determined to finish her degree in Social Work at Thomas University. But once again, the path to her dream was interrupted as she became ill.

When asked why she decided to complete her degree after decades passed, Jones said, “I made a promise to myself after all these years to finish my degree, and I intended to keep that promise.”

After she finished her coursework, Jones’ illness progressed and she was admitted to Archbold’s Mitchell County Hospital, which is coincidentally located on the same campus as Mitchell Convalescent Center, where she worked as an intern during college.

Because of her illness, Jones was unable to attend her college graduation. But when Thomas University professors heard about Kathryn’s situation, they teamed up with Mitchell County Hospital staff to make sure she was recognized for her dedication and long-awaited graduation day.

With cap and gown in hand, Thomas University staff headed to Mitchell County where a special graduation ceremony was held for Jones. She was presented a diploma, along with an award recognizing her as Thomas University’s Student of the Year. Mitchell County Hospital staff turned this act of kindness into an impromptu celebration with a reception attended by Jones’ family and friends to honor her great achievement.

According to her son, Darryl, she never allowed her health condition to hold her back from anything, including from being a star student.

“I am so proud of my mother and her accomplishments,” he said.  “She motivates me to better myself.”

“Kathryn Jones is an inspiration to all of us to never give up on what we want,” said Mitchell County Hospital assistant administrator Jaime Womack.

Terri Lasseter, director of social services at MCC, who supervised Jones during her internship said Kathryn plans to use her degree in gerontology to be an advocate for senior citizens and their rights.

“We believe Kathryn will accomplish everything she intends to and more,” said Lasseter. “We can all learn from Kathryn’s inspiration, determination, perseverance and grace.”