Patrick Borges has a thirst for knowledge, education, and independence. As he embarked on the last stretch to earn his Associate of Arts degree at Broward College, Patrick is sharing his challenging journey to achieving his dreams.

Patrick was born in Cuba but raised in the Czech Republic by his Cuban father and Czech mother. After his parents divorced, he stayed with his mother in the Czech Republic until he was fourteen, then moved to Miami with his father.

When he started high school in Miami, he learned English and Spanish simultaneously, and his professors were quick to notice his good academic standing and placed him in honors classes. Since then, Patrick has not slowed down despite facing several setbacks on his way.

Striving for Excellence

“I realized very early on in my life that education was very important to succeed,” explains Patrick. “In high school, I did not only put all my focus on learning and getting perfect grades, but I started to volunteer, do part-time work, and join student clubs.” Patrick was the president of Future Physicians of America club and a member of the Principal Advisory Committee during high school.

Patrick Borges
Patrick Borges

He knew that the medical field was the professional path he wanted to pursue, so he focused his volunteer work at the Kendall Regional Hospital, where he completed 500 hours of community service.

At the same time, he had the opportunity to work for Czech Trade, a foreign governmental agency that promotes bilateral trade between the Czech Republic and the U.S. Due to his excellent work ethic, another opportunity arose, this time at the Czech Embassy in Washington D.C. which he decided not to pursue, in order to focus on his interest for the medical field.

Life Isn’t Over Yet

After high school, he attended Miami Dade College to pursue a degree in business that he decided not to finish and instead went on to take night classes at a technical school to become a Medical Assistant while working with his father at an electrical company during the day.

In 2010 his life was completely altered when an accident at his workplace resulted in almost six years of surgeries, medical attention, and physical rehabilitation. Patrick had an infection on his right hip joint, which required doctors to remove the hip joint and place him on several months of antibiotic treatments that were ineffective.

“When I was told by doctors that I would also need a hip replacement surgery and that I may end up in a wheelchair for the rest of my life, I was completely crushed. I thought my life was over at that point. Everything I had worked for, I felt it was out of reach,” he says.

After the surgery and months of painful rehabilitation, doctors informed him the hip replacement surgery had not been successful and that he needed to remove the implant and try the surgery again after a year of antibiotic treatment. It wasn’t until 2015 and two other minor surgeries that Patrick finally received the metal implant he currently has.

“After the last surgery rehab, I felt better than I had felt in years, and I knew it was time to get back on track and keep working towards the life I wanted,” he says. “In 2017, I started working again, and I decided to enroll in Broward College.”

During the fall commencement, Patrick, like thousands of other Broward College graduates will celebrate completing his degree, and this is just the beginning for the 36-year-old who has not given up on his desire to work in the medical field. He has been accepted to the A.S. Nursing program at Broward College to begin classes in January of 2020. He wishes to become a Nurse Practitioner or Nurse Anesthetist.

Are you interested in pursuing a career in the medical field to help others? Learn more about the Health Sciences programs available at Broward College.