Editor's note: This is the second in a two-part series about Morgan Guyll, ambassador for Arkansas Children's Hospital and Pea Ridge High School senior.
In November 2012, as an eighth-grader, Morgan Guyll began experiencing back pain. She went to "every field of specialist" in Northwest Arkansas, to no avail. Then, her stomach began hurting and she lost 30 pounds in one month's time. Soon, she had to have assistance walking.
A trip to the emergency room was met with this directive: Go to Arkansas Children's Hospital in Little Rock.
A test there revealed a benign tumor, located between the vertebrae and the spinal cord. The C-shaped tumor was pushing on the spinal cord. The first surgery took four-and-a-half hours to complete.
This time around, things have been much different. She's not had any symptoms, but doctors utilized testing to periodically observe her. A few months ago, they found what they thought might be scar tissue, or the tumor's return. Just recently, Guyll underwent additional testing and surgery was planned.
The surgeons will use the same incision as before, take out the tumor, patch a top layer so the spinal cord doesn't leak and fuse part of the vertebrae together.
When her journey first began, Guyll considered becoming a neonatal nurse, but she now knows she might not be able to handle unfortunate outcomes.
Instead, she found herself in a volunteer role, taking on a very critical mission. ACH approached her after the first surgery to become an ambassador. As an "older patient" at age 13, she was asked to help market ACH and solicit donations.
In addition to school work, being an outstanding example of the Pea Ridge Manufacturing and Business Academy and working part time at Annabel's Mercantile, Guyll uses her spare time to give speeches anywhere she can. Guyll was asked to serve as ambassador for one year, but she has served for three.
She tells potential donors she is a living example of ACH's success, and emphasizes that anyone may find their child, niece or friend's child in need of ACH's services.
Though some people feel small donations don't matter, Guyll stresses otherwise.
"I tell them that even a couple of dollars can provide diapers for a baby for a day."
Her ambassador role has encompassed giving numerous speeches at the Wal-Mart Home Office and at many different events, soliciting donations at the Pea Ridge Mule Jump, giving a lot of interviews and taking calls and donations during an ACH pledge drive.
The role has engaged her people skills and sharpened her speech-giving skills. Her journey has helped her develop deep empathy toward others.
"I am good in chaotic situations," Guyll said. "I want to be a listening ear and someone people can vent to or cry to."
Guyll enjoys herself -- and finds relaxation -- by working for Pam and Ed Clifton. She works part-time for the couple who operate and own local flea market, Annabel's Mercantile. She enjoys it so much, she usually goes in an hour early just to hang out and visit.
The "office" is a place where she can dabble, paint and relax.
"I love finding things and flipping things. I love to paint."
Guyll hosts painting classes at the flea market, simply facilitating a fun night for people to decorate wooden door hangers as they wish.
Her dream for the future, of course, envisions owning a fun flea market, as well as utilizing her NWACC degree, and having a house and a family.
She also hopes to volunteer her time to help others.
"I have a lot of empathy for people," Guyll said. "I can relate to them better because of what I've been through," she said.
"People need someone they can relate to."Community on 02/22/2017
Print Headline: From patient to ambassador