Jillian Daughtry Overcomes Odds to Live Her Dream
At the age of 8, Jillian Daughtry began suffering
from severe migraine headaches. By age 13, she was
passing out for unknown reasons.
“The doctors couldn’t explain what was happening to me,” Daughtry, now 22, said. “Then, after a while, it just stopped.”
But during her junior year at Clinton High, all the problems returned.
“I began passing out and having fainting spells,” she explained. “I didn’t know what was going on. I was at Clinton High for three years and then my parents split over that summer and I moved back to the Salemburg area. I spent my senior year at Lakewood High because I wasn’t allowed to drive back and forth to Clinton.”
Because of her condition, Daughtry didn’t spend much time at school, though.
“I missed a lot. I even spent a week at UNC Hospitals,” she said. “But I had a very high grade point average, so I was able to work with an adjusted scheduled and, despite all that I was going through, I was still able to graduate.”
It was during that senior year that Daughtry was finally diagnosed with neurocardiogenic syncope, a disorder of the heart that results in extreme fatigue, headaches and fainting spells.
She was accepted to every college that she applied to, however, she chose to attend Campbell University so she could be closer to her parents and grandparents. Jillian continued to battle the symptoms of her disorder, extreme fatigue and seizures.
During one of her many trips to the doctor, Jillian was told by a nurse about vocational rehabilitation and how they helped her get back to work.
Daughtry went to the VR office in Sampson County and applied for support, which she immediately received.
“They were just great to me,” she attested. “The support, the help that they gave me was just incredible. I know I could have never have gotten through all of it without them. God took care of me and put VR in my life.”
Last May, Jillian was presented with her degree from Campbell University with honors. Despite her personal condition and tragedy, she had managed to make the Dean’s List every semester.
By the end of June, she was hired as a teacher, a position, she felt, that would allow her to inspire others.
“I now teach fifth grade at Coats Elementary School in Harnett County,” she said. “It is absolutely the best job ever.”
Jillian made a presentation to VR employees recently and couldn’t have been prouder of her experience. “They closed my case officially in October,” she said. “I went in and presented my success story. I just had to thank them for everything they did for me, because it wouldn’t have happened without them.”
VR Manager Scott Daniel said he was thrilled with Daughtry’s success. Jillian came in and really wanted to work hard. She is an inspiration as far as I am concerned.”
Courtesy of The Sampson Independent