Missouri State University
Alexandria Garcia

Alexandria Garcia

Tragic experience plays significant role in Alexandria's dream of becoming a Nurse Anesthetist

"The specific moment I knew I wanted to be a nurse anesthetist ‘when I grew up’ was the time when we found out my mom’s cancer had spread to her brain."

Early battle ignites passion

From a very early age Alexandria (Alex) Garcia was unfortunately (or fortunately she said) exposed to the medical world because of her mom. She remembers the day her mom came home, gathered her and her three sisters, and told them she had cancer. Cancer: this word meant absolutely nothing to her at age eight. Through a long, treacherous battle, Garcia said her mom’s body was finally defeated in November 2004, prior to her 14th birthday.

Garcia mentions this tragic experience only because she says it has played the most significant role in her achieving her dream of being in the Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice Program at Missouri State University.

“The specific moment I knew I wanted to be a nurse anesthetist ‘when I grew up’ was the time when we found out my mom’s cancer had spread to her brain and a tumor removal was necessary,” Garcia said.

Garcia and her sisters would take turns going to the surgery waiting area with their mom. On one particular time, it was Garcia’s turn to go back with her mom.

“I remember being terrified. I didn’t really know why, but I couldn’t let go of my mom’s hand when they came to take her back to surgery,” Garcia said. “I remember the nurse anesthetist bending down and grabbing my hand while holding my mom’s other hand and promising me she wouldn’t let go of my mom’s hand until I could hold it again myself.” Garcia said she has never forgotten that moment.

Tragedy to triumph 

From then on, Garcia said a spark was lit inside of her and that fueled her drive and determination. She graduated high school early and went straight for her Bachelor of Science in Nursing through Southwest Baptist University. She was hired straight into the Neuro-Trauma ICU at Mercy and followed that with travel nursing in various ICUs throughout the country. While traveling the country, Garcia was able to finish all of her credentials and pre-requisites in order to apply for Missouri State University’s Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice Program.

“The next life changing moment of my journey was the day I received my acceptance letter,” Garcia said.  “I finally had my moment in life, and my dreams came true. I could not be more blessed, more passionate, or sure of anything else in my life than being right here, where I am, in this very moment.”