A life-changing experience

Chris Harmon thought being elected Student Government Association president was a life-altering event. But on the eve of being sworn in, he encountered a life-threatening experience. As a child, Harmon constantly had problems with his tonsils. He knew at an early age that they would need to be taken out. But his busy childhood, which included school and sports, prevented him from getting the job done.

He was also advised that because of his age and the size of his tonsils that it would probably be best for him to wait until he got a little older to go through with the surgery.

Little did he know that later on in life, his tonsils would almost get the best of him.

Over the course of the year prior to his election, Harmon had several visits to his doctor in Ruston, who later diagnosed him with having a severe virus in his throat.

Knowing this would cause him more problems than he already had with his tonsils, Harmon made the arrangements to go ahead and let his doctor extract the virus-infected tissue. The doctor was successful in taking out a majority of the virus in Harmon’s throat, but wasn’t able to get the entire virus out, leaving his throat still infected.

To deal with the infection, the doctor gave Harmon medication that would help cope with any flare-ups or any further infection of his tonsils. As time went on, Harmon didn’t experience any traumatic side effects from the virus still being in his throat, so he felt that, in time, everything would heal itself on its own.

It wasn’t until May, at a meeting where Harmon was conducting business, that his tonsils would cause him severe problems. Problems he never could’ve imagined.

In the middle of making a speech, his tonsils swelled to a point where they pushed together and caused him to be unable to breath.

Harmon said when this was taking place he really didn’t realize the seriousness of the situation until seeing the looks on everyone’s faces. He knew by their expressions that he was in trouble, which made him a little scared.

A close friend, David Adams, rushed him to the hospital, where he was admitted into surgery. The doctors had to poke a hole through his trachea for him to be able breathe through his airways. In surgery the doctors had to pull out his tonsils through his trachea, which was the safest route since they had already poked a hole there just hours before.

“I remember squirming around, but couldn’t feel anything that was going on,” Harmon said.

When he woke up from his surgery, he remembers being in a tremendous amount of pain. He stayed in the hospital three days recuperating from his surgery.

Harmon wanted to let everyone know that he truly appreciated all the love and support shown by family, friends and faculty.

He remembers those who visited his bedside, including Charlette Favors, Dr. Cassandra Shelling, LaKesha Ross, Amyra Chapman, Phairon Route and few others.

“I was blessed beyond measure and thank God every day that I am still here, because I realize that I could be dead,” Harmon said.

He said he now looks at life totally differently and has a new perspective. The main difference is that he doesn’t take life for granted, cherishes every moment he has on earth, and lives each day to the fullest.

Nonetheless, the experience taught him a lot and gave him motivation to continue with the duties set before him.

Although he went through this life-altering experience, he was still able to bounce back and take care of business as planned. Since elected, he has put a lot of things in motion around Grambling’s campus, such as the transportation system, the alert systems on campus, the game room and movie theater in the Student Union and a plethora of other amenities that students didn’t have the luxury of before his help.

Even with all the controversy going on now, with no candidates or few candidates running for some the SGA positions, he remains positive throughout the entire experience and still has high hopes for the future of the SGA.