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Co-Lin hosts 12th annual Industry Appreciation Luncheon

NATCHEZ — Quincy Futrell wanted to be a respiratory therapist so badly that failing the program his first time around didn’t stop him from achieving his dream.

Futrell is now Our Lady of the Lake Medical Center’s respiratory therapist of the year, and our Lady of the Lake was recognized in 2009 as the top respiratory care department in the country by Advance for Respiratory Care Magazine.

Wednesday afternoon, Futrell expressed his thanks to his alma mater, Copiah-Lincoln Community College Natchez Campus, at its 12th annual Industry Appreciation Luncheon.

Co-Lin President Ronnie Nettles said the Industry Appreciation Luncheon was a chance to thank the local businesses and industries for hiring Co-Lin graduates and the school principals for sending Co-Lin their students.

“We could not do this without (the community’s) support,” Nettles said.

Futrell was asked to speak to the assembled audience at the luncheon and tell his success story.

Respiratory therapist instructor Walt Wilson gave Futrell’s introduction and said Futrell and his mother, Rosalyn Futrell, came to his office and asked for a second chance.

“I told him that maybe he needs to do something else,” Wilson said. “But he said, ‘No, I want to be an RT.’”

“I looked at his mother, and she said ‘give him another chance.’”

After a review, Wilson decided Futrell would have to redo clinicals and audit classes so he could write an essay to prove he deserved to get back where he was in the program.

“He came back with a vengeance and blew us out of the water,” Wilson said. “When I graded the essay, it was like reading a textbook.”

After graduating in 2007, Futrell started working at Our Lady of the Lake.

“I had a job there before I even graduated — not just a job, I had a career,” Futrell said. “I’ve learned so much, and it all started here. (Co-Lin) prepared me for next step.”

Now Futrell is Our Lady of the Lake’s weekend supervisor and when talking to respiratory therapists, they ask him where he went to school.

“Every time I say I went to Co-Lin, they say ‘I wish I had gone there,’” Futrell said. “They recognize that (the Co-Lin RT graduates working at Our Lady of the Lake) went to a good school.”

A Health and Science Center at Co-Lin is under construction and will provide a new home for the respiratory care program, and Futrell said his program getting an upgrade was well deserved.

“When you drive up and see the new facility, it says a lot that the school is growing in these times,” Futrell said. “I’m looking forward to it, and I want to be here on the ribbon cutting day.”

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