Health issues fail to derail Watford’s ambitions
Published 5:18 pm Tuesday, August 9, 2022
AHOSKIE – There’s an old saying that states when life gives you nothing but lemons, learn to make lemonade.
Figuratively speaking, Patricia Watford of Ahoskie has learned to make gallons of it over the course of her 55 years.
Beset with medical problems since birth, Watford’s life took a dramatic turn in March of 1998 when an 11-hour operation successfully replaced a kidney and pancreas. Both organs needed to be replaced due to complications from childhood diabetes.
Now, nearly 25 years later, Watford feels her life was spared for a reason.
“God allows me to still be here. There are so many people that had the same transplants I had who are no longer with us. I guess God still has a plan for me. He has work for me to do,” she said.
Despite not being able to work due to vision problems caused by diabetes, that didn’t stop Watford from returning to school. Using magnifiers provided by Services for the Blind, she worked to earn a Bachelor’s degree in Christian Counseling in September of last year through online courses provided by Grace Bible Theological Seminary, located in Rich Square.
She also uses several other aids to assist her vision.
“I carry them around all the time to help me,” Watford noted, who also earned her Minister’s License in May of last year.
“I didn’t let my bad eyesight get me down. I’m still pushing on. Now I want to go back to school and get my masters degree in Christian Counseling,” she added.
In the meantime, Watford can be heard on WRCS (97 AM) where she spreads God’s word and offers encouragement to those in need. It’s not a paid job, but she does accept donations from the public and from the faith-based community to continue her broadcast.
Armed with the master’s degree, Watford wants to open a counseling business.
“I’m already doing that now, but I want to do that in the school system and I need my master’s degree to qualify for that type of counseling,” she said. “I need to be a licensed counselor.
“There’s always someone in need of counseling; someone in need of having their spirits lifted through words of encouragement,” she added.
Watford said she reads her Bible each and every night, searching for verses that offer comfort and love.
“I may not have great eyesight, but I believe that God has blessed me with peace, love, joy, and compassion. I have God and that’s all I need. That encourages me to go out and help those in need.”
Watford is also a published author. In 2011 she released a book of poetry – “Reflections: A Great Miracle Through the Storms.”
The poetry, which fills 116 pages, is set in chronological order, beginning in 1984. Watford said her favorite can be found on page 47 (My Faith Has Made Me Whole) where she writes, “Through many years of needles and pricking fingers every day, something inside kept telling me the Lord will make a way. The passing out at night, lying close to death, how the Lord saw fit to send someone to find me and help.”
“These poems touch every phase of my life,” said Watford, who uses the pen name “Patty P.” “I wrote the book because I feel there others in my shoes that are in need of encouragement. The poems were my release…the Lord was my release, he was the answer to all my problems.”
That book has recently been re-released with a new cover.
“I do plan on writing another book. I want to do my autobiography. I want to tell my life story, but I want to finish school first. My goal is to finish my degree over the next two years.”
In the meantime, she’ll keep “making lemonade” by keeping a smile on her face and words of encouragement in her heart.