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Student explores career as surgeon

Future surgeon

LCC student Raywio Kejjan has his sights set on becoming a surgeon someday.  Photo by Mallory Stiles

Mallory Stiles

By Mallory Stiles
Editor in Chief

The day before school starts can be nerve racking for everyone, but LCC student Raywio Kejjan definitely had a better reason than most; he was going to be in an operating room the very next day.

Kejjan, 19, is currently taking Organic Chemistry, Physics and Calc for a total of 16 credits. In addition, he also has volunteers at Sparrow Hospital, where he observes procedures.

 His last observation was of a two-hour discectomy. He said he really learned a lot and truly connected with the doctor he was shadowing.

“The surgeon directly spoke to me and told me what he was doing,” Kejjan said. “He showed me the x-rays beforehand, told me everything he was going to do and showed me the equipment he would need to do it.”

Kejjan said he is keeping an open mind about where his life’s goals may take him, but admitted he has always felt a very strong pull toward being a surgeon; and for a very heart-seizing reason.

“When I was younger, my dad had a brain aneurism and he needed brain surgery,” he said. “Ever since then it’s been something I was interested in. I didn’t ever have the power to help him in any way. It was all on the doctor. I want that power.”

His ambition in the field has also led him to start a club of his own on LCC’s campus. It’s intended to unite all his fellow, future healthcare workers, so they can all work together with ease.

“I created the group,” he said. “It’s called Medicine Without Barriers. I started it, but a lot of other pre-med and vet students have helped. We are in our infancy but we are going to volunteer and help students get to where they want to be and get all of us under one umbrella and reach the goal as a group.”

Kejjan said his favorite things about LCC are the tutors and the TLC building in general. Well-known chemistry tutor Lincoln Mtemeri said he believes Kejjan will absolutely get to where he wants to go.

“Ray stands out as one of the most goal-oriented, motivated and driven students I’ve ever encountered,” Mtemeri said. “I wholeheartedly believe he will achieve his dream of becoming a neurosurgeon.”

Kejjan’s lifelong best friend, Dayshawn Fields, shared that Kejjan has been talking about neurosurgery since they were in third grade. Fields no one has ever mirrored the dedication he sees in his friend.

“Raywio has always been a bearer of inspiration for me and everyone else in our friend group,” Fields said.

Kejjan is deeply loved, but he also deeply loves. He described his friends and family simply as his source of strength and means to persevere.

Kejjan has two younger brothers and two parents whom he said he would do anything for. He loves his family so much that he plans his life according to how far away it will take him.

“They’re the best people I will ever have,” he said. “It’s best to stay close to them.”

Kejjan is a Lansing native, but his parents were both born in Iraq. He said his parents were lucky enough to have escaped war, but family members are still in the process. A refugee program brought his parents to the U.S. in 1999 and his parents built a home from the ground up.

His father received his first education in Iraq. As an architect of sorts there, he became the guy who could build anything here. Kejjan’s father quickly took, and continues to hold, a strong position in real estate.

His mother is a traveling nurse with a bachelor’s degree from Ferris State University, but both of his parents attended LCC and have made a home in America.

Despite that, Kejjan still holds the issues of the Middle East with a very heavy heart.

“It’s a part of me,” he said. “It’s where I am from, I don’t call it home but it’s my family’s home.”

Though it seems Kejjan carries the weight of the world, he says he lets it all go in the gym about four times a week. When that doesn’t work, he circles back to the one thing that makes it all worth it: those close to him.

“I go around people I love the most because with them,” he said, “I have never felt helpless.”

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