About me

My name is Kaighan Gray and I am 18 years old. I am a recent high school graduate and will be attending Angelo State University in the fall. Throughout high school I was involved in athletics, 4-H, FFA and NHS. I compete in 4-H shotgun shooting sports during the summer and hopefully will be joining the shooting team at ASU! I love kiddos and babysit for multiple families in my small town. For my internship I will be working at Primal Gardens, a greenhouse facility using the latest technology in Aquaponic Production.  This enables us to sustainably produce the highest quality vegetables and superior fish for our customers. My dad started this business back in the fall of 2016 because of how difficult it was for us to find clean, healthy food. In December of 2009 I was diagnosed with Autoimmune Hepatitis and began taking high doses of prednisone. In February of 2010 my body began to shut down. I was sent to the hospital in Lubbock due to a very rapid heart rate and extremely low blood pressure. After a few x-rays in the emergency room I was diagnosed with Pneumonia and then sent to Pediatric ICU. Not long after, the doctors decided to put me into a medically induced coma. My heart, lungs, liver, and kidneys started failing, my body had got septic. Around 24 hours later I was placed on ECHMO, a lung and heart bypass machine while my medical team was still running every test imaginable to figure out what was wrong with me. During this time I had over 40 different machines and IV’s pumping throughout my body to keep me alive. Another week of very little improvement had gone by and the doctors discovered that my left lower lobe of my lung had began to decay and had to surgically remove a third of my lung to prevent it from spreading. The only diagnoses the doctors could give me was Pneumonia and RSV and because of my high doses of prednisone my body was not able to fight off the infection and began to shut down. Upon waking up my medical team and parents noticed that the left side of my face was droopy and later when trying to stand I could not feel my left foot. The effects of ECHMO had caused me to have mini strokes and brain bleeds. A little over a month later I was able to come home and start my recovery. Over the next three years I made many improvements and gained back a lot of strength to get back to who I was. Although I do live with an autoimmune disease, clean, healthy eating is my only way to a long, happy life.

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