#MomsWhoInspire: Bekah Hawrot Weigel

December 6, 2017

 In this week's #MomsWhoInspire, Bekah Hawrot Weigel shares how coding challenges helped her find a new life path after an arduous recovery from surgery.

 

A year ago, I gave birth to my fourth child. During that labor and delivery, I sustained a
vesicouterine fistula. Undiagnosed by my doctors, I went home with terrible physical and emotional problems. One month later, I was operated on by two fantastic doctors in Pittsburgh. The five-hour surgery left me with a week-long hospital stay and a take-home, in-dwelling catheter for four weeks. The recovery - both physical and mental - has been long and life-changing.

 

I’ve turned a point in my physical and emotional healing thanks to great doctors, physical therapists, family, and friends. As I started to reflect on my future, I wondered what challenge I should take on next. At the time, I was stuck in a rut of not knowing who I was or where I was going. My husband, a front-end developer at a local university, encouraged me to take up coding. He livestreams for freecodecamp and suggested I try their challenges.

 

Well, I’m close to the 300 mark now, and not only have I found excitement in working to solve their challenges, but I’ve also been so happy to find a supportive group of women who code. It’s great to tweet my progress and to have people acknowledge that; to vent frustration with others when we get stuck; and to have a group of understanding women who know what it’s like to be a mother and a coder. Even my counselor remarked, “Bekah, you look so excited when you talk about coding!”

 

I’ve had to re-evaluate my life, knowing that in three years I won’t have any more children at home. I’ve had to re-evaluate my life, knowing that I’ve survived something other women don’t. I’ve had to re-evaluate my life, knowing that I am up for any challenge. Now I know that challenge is coding.

 

- Bekah Hawrot Weigel

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