TAMPA, Fla. - Becoming a doctor is hard enough, but when you're overcoming a traumatic brain injury, it's nearly impossible. Still, that's exactly what Alex Lake has just accomplished.
Lake had always dreamed of becoming a doctor, but when he was violently assaulted after defending a woman who was being attacked, doctors told him he'd have to give up his dream -- just as he was about to begin medical school.
Lake suffered from a skull fracture and extensive bleeding in his brain that required immediate surgery. Even worse, the doctor had bad news about his future.
"He said I'm not going to be able to take on the rigorous workload that medical school entails," he told FOX 13 Tampa.
"I wasn't going to make it because my short-term memory was very poor… it was very hard for me to make the association between looking at something and then in my brain [saying], 'What is this particular structure?'"
But Lake decided to go through with med school instead of waiting. He used special online study aids and worked day and night to compensate for the difficulties he had due to his injury. It wasn't easy, but he persevered, and made it to graduation.
Now, as a doctor, and with no lasting damage from his injuries, he hopes he can be an inspiration to others.
"You don't always get a second chance to redo what happened the day before," he said. "But when you wake up, it is a new day for you to win or lose. Don't lose hope."