Talk about quiet resilience… Ricky Barrow could have let a serious car accident in 2012 deter him from attending Lamar Institute of Technology. He also could have let the follow-up surgery and a daunting 1,000-plus hours in makeup classes and clinics stop him from graduating on time in May 2013. Barrow could’ve chosen later not to pursue his CT (Computed Tomography) certification from Galveston College.
But, this was no ordinary student. The son of LIT Diesel Mechanics alumnus Kevin Barrow, Ricky Barrow doggedly pursued his education and end goal.
If he hadn’t persevered, he probably wouldn’t be where he is today – a Senior CT Technologist at Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston. The Radiology Business Journal recently named Barrow’s group – the Center for Advanced Imaging Processing (CAIP) – one of five recipients of the Imaging Innovation award for 2019-20. Barrow is also helping to write an article for Dual Energy CT Imaging about reformatting abilities that improve patient care.
A young man's drive
His special determination was immediately recognized when his former LIT Radiologic Technology Instructor Lisa Bland got a call from a helicopter transport nurse at 6:30 that fateful morning in April 2012. The severely injured student wouldn’t allow the helicopter to lift off without the nurse calling his clinical instructor to explain he would be absent from class.
Barrow was in the last week of his first year in the program, commuting to school from Hamshire-Fannett/Anahuac, when his car slammed into an 18-wheeler that unexpectedly blocked Highway 124. He sustained a fractured femur, ankle and wrist, multiple cuts and bruises.
A champion of adversity
Bland said, “We used his X-ray as our t-shirt design that year. To this day, I recount his story to new students every semester, so others are inspired to follow rules, stay determined in the face of adversity, and that setbacks can lead to something bigger and better.”
After Barrow’s accident, he returned in the fall, took finals and completed his clinic hours (summer and fall) before the spring semester started – all while working part-time. Barrow said he will never forget his experience at school, despite the accident.
“LIT has not only shaped my career, but established a foothold in my life. I would not be even close to reaching my potential without the assistance from the program and instructors that paved my way," he said.