Dan Massey’s path to pharmacy school was filled with many challenges. All through his undergraduate career he was bound to a wheelchair. He had developed an infirmity that caused so much pain that he could not walk. Eventually his doctors presented him with a chilling choice that goes against normal intuition: remove your legs, in order to walk.
Thus, three months before he started pharmacy school, Massey had his legs amputated from the knee down.
“It was either that or stay in the wheelchair, in pain, and not be able to be very mobile. I was fitted for prosthetics in my first year at COP and then spent the first year and a half going through physical therapy learning to walk again.”
Massey was also a husband, father of two teenage girls and a full-time caregiver for his ailing father.
“I was one of the older students. My biggest challenge was balancing family life and studying. I started at age 36 and graduated at 40. I took care of my father full-time during the beginning of pharmacy school. He passed towards the end of my fourth year.
“I think my life experiences shaped me and made me more empathic with patients that I speak with at the hospital. I have the life experience to relate to many of them.”
Given all the challenges, struggles and sacrifices, would he do it again?
“I would absolutely go to pharmacy school again” he says. “Going back to college was the best decision that I made in my life. Not only did it put me in a better place, it taught me a better career. I love pharmacy.”