STORIES

”I never told my mom I was gay and she did not know. Lying there in my “deathbed,” I believed my mom would abandon me. She did not.”
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Story by Aaron Holloway

I never told my mom I was gay and she did not know. Lying there in my “deathbed,” I believed my mom would abandon me. She did not.

I was a graduating senior at Prairie View A&M University on spring break visiting my mom when I was diagnosed with AIDS and end-stage renal failure. Prior to this, I remember It took over 4 hours for me to arrive to my hometown in Beaumont, Texas. It should have taken approximately 2 ½ hours. However, I was exhausted and pulled over on the highway to nap.

When I arrived home, I was greeted with my mom’s bright smile and warm embrace. Her retirement party was that night. Over the weekend, my health continued to deteriorate. On March 10, 2008, the anniversary of my father’s passing 4 years prior, my mom insisted that she take me to the Emergency Room. She drove us to Baptist Hospital where I was born and where my father passed. I was beyond terrified.

After check-in and having my vital signs taken, the nurses began taking several lab tests. Within 24 hours, I was checked into the hospital and had an AV implanted into my heart. I was diagnosed with end-stage renal failure. The nephrologist proclaimed that my kidneys were “gone” and I would never urinate again. Motivated solely by profit, he had no concern for my well-being.

Afterwards, I was simultaneously diagnosed with AIDS by another physician in the presence of my mom and thereby outed. I will never forget what the physician said to me, “Wake up! It’s AIDS. Are you surprised?”

I never told my mom I was gay and she did not know. Lying there in my “deathbed,” I believed my mom would abandon me. She did not.

I was released from the hospital with a month. Miraculously, during a dialysis treatment that summer, my kidneys regained function. Fall 2008, I was permitted to return to my undergraduate studies.

In May 2009, I graduated cum laude from PVAMU with Bachelor of Business Administration in Management degree. In 2013, I graduated from the Naval Acquisition Intern Program and graduated magna cum laude with Master of Science in Technology Management degree from Texas A&M University – Commerce.