Monday, December 18, 2017

One Norman Regional volunteer is living proof of a person defying all odds, and she just wants to pay it forward by helping others.

Krishna Baker recently turned 50, which is a day doctors never thought Baker would see.

Baker was born in India at only one pound and placed in an incubator for the first six months of her life.  Doctors didn’t think she would make it out of the hospital.

Baker made it out of the hospital, then defied the odds again when she began speaking at 3 years old, another thing doctors never thought she’d be able to do.

Baker left India for the U.S. when she was 15 years old in 1982; three years after her mom came to the U.S.

“It was hard leaving all the family in India—very hard. Going from one end to another end, it’s totally different—different culture, different language, everything totally different. You have to get used to it,” Baker said. “Moving here was a big change after living 15 years in India.

“But I turned out good. My mom took care of me. My family supported me a lot. Ever since I was little, they had to take care of so much.”

Baker now stands at only 4’3” and although she stays positive, it can sometimes to be difficult.

“Sometimes people say ‘you’re so little’ or ask me why I’m so little. When it was Halloween, one little girl asked me why I’m so little and kept asking if it was the way I was made. She was 5 or 6 years old and asked me again and again. Her father said ‘let’s go now’ but she just kept asking so I told her ‘that’s the way it is. I’m just little,” Baker said. “It’s so hard when you are so different. Sometimes people react differently or sometimes people don’t like it. Sometimes I get discouraged. When I see kids asking—they don’t know because they’re still growing up, but when adults react—it’s different.”

Despite being different, Baker never let her size or her language or cultural barriers get her down.

She attended the University of Oklahoma and received her Bachelor’s degree in sociology and her Master’s degree in human relations.

Baker then got involved with volunteering at Norman Regional because her mom saw something about it in the newspaper and they applied that day. Baker has now volunteered at Norman Regional Hospital for almost 11 years, putting in more than 3,000 hours of service.

“I love helping people. That’s my culture—helping people, and I get satisfaction when I help someone. They also feel good—they appreciate it so much,” Baker said. “I want to continue volunteering here. It keeps me moving. I keep meeting lots of new people every day. Everybody knows me now. I love meeting new people and seeing what their reaction is when I help them. I get to find out more about them then just where they need to go.

“I’ve come very far because of family’s support, and I consider Norman Regional part of that family.”

For more information on volunteering, call 405-307-1788.