Photo of college student completing final exam while in labor goes viral
KANSAS CITY, Kansas, December 22, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – A Kansas City college student succeeded in completing her fall semester on time and with good grades, even as the birth of her first child was imminent, and she said her experience shows that you can do anything.
A photo of Nayzia Thomas working to complete her final exam as she labored to deliver her son in a Shawnee Mission Medical Center hospital bed has gone viral, garnering nationwide attention for the story of a young mom who persevered.
Thomas, 19, and a sophomore at Johnson County Community College, pushed hard to finish toward the end of the semester, knowing that once her baby arrived he’d be her top priority.
“I was feeling I needed everything done because once he got here that was going to be my only focus,” she told InsideEdition.com. “I didn't need any distractions.”
Her final psychology exam was due at the end of the week of December 11. Thomas recounted how her professor was very considerate in working with her, and also impressed with her resolve to finish.
“I told her I was determined to get it into her because I didn't want that [an incomplete] on my grades,” Thomas said.
Thomas told the local Fox affiliate that her education has always been very important to her. Thomas finished high school a year early, and she is paying her way through college, pursuing a psychology degree.
That resolve continued as she went into labor with her son.
“The (nurses) were like, ‘Mom, you need to get sleep,’" Thomas said in a report from Fox4KC.com. “I was like ‘No, I need to finish my paper, and then I’ll go to sleep.”
Thomas’s mother took the now famous picture of her hard at work on her final while simultaneously in labor.
“(My mom) showed me (the picture) and I thought it was cute and that I should upload it to let everybody know that the baby’s coming,” she said, then uploading it to Twitter for family and friends.
“My mom took this pic & it's the perfect explanation of my life. yes i'm about to have a baby, but final (season) ain't over yet” Thomas said in her post.
She turned her paper in, giving birth a short time later in the afternoon of December 12 to Anthony, who weighed 6 pounds, 15 ounces, and was 21 inches long.
“Although I was in pain,” said Thomas, “I felt a sense of pride and relief to be finished with this fall semester!”
She’d forgotten the picture, until her phone began chiming repeatedly with notifications.
“I just kept seeing my phone go off, and I’m like, 'What’s going on?” Thomas said.
The tweet had taken off, then made its way around social media and news outlets.
“Looking through the messages,” she said, scrolling through them, “it’s just a whole bunch of blessings and you’re doing amazing – all praises.”
It was overwhelming for her initially, but then became inspiring, as she faced post-delivery complications.
“Update: on 12/12/17 we had a healthy baby boy,” Thomas tweeted later. “However, I experienced major blood loss & my body went into shock post-delivery. It was very scary, but his (Anthony’s) father was right there to take over when I went unconscious.”
“We are blessed!” she stated. “AND I'm finishing the semester w/ a 3.5 GPA!”
While she never expected her picture to go viral, Thomas now understands why the image has touched people the way it has.
"People are constantly telling you what you can’t do,” Thomas said, “but I think that my picture goes to show you can do anything.”
Her Twitter post had almost 135,000 likes and more than 28,000 retweets at press time.