Expecting Mom Delivers Healthy Baby and Graduates With Her Doctorate on the Same Day
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Expecting Mom Delivers Healthy Baby And Graduates With Her Doctorate On the Same Day

Photo credit: Bella Naija

The strength of a woman is incredible. And so is the story of Dr. Queshonda Kudaisi, a mother of five, who successfully delivered a healthy baby and graduated with her Ph.D. on the same day.

In a recent tweet, Kudaisi shared that she had tested positive for COVID-19 back in August. At that time, she was a doctoral student at the University of South Florida, and expecting a bundle of joy. She explained, “I thought the baby and I wouldn’t survive, or that I would have to push back my graduation.”

“I had a fever almost the whole time, even after taking Tylenol. I didn’t eat for about 14 days. I fractured my ribs because I was coughing so much,” Kudaisi tells TODAY Parents. “I ended up developing pneumonia — it was just terrible. I really thought I was going to die. I was thinking to myself, ‘Wow, I have worked so hard to get to this point and it’s going to be snatched away at the end.'”

To her surprise, she overcame the virus, and was able to successfully defend her dissertation research in the university’s department of curriculum, instruction and learning—officially becoming Dr. Queshonda Kudaisi in October. She was proud to announce her academic achievements, despite the odds she had endured, on Twitter.

As she prepared for graduation, Kudaisi was also preparing for the delivery of her baby girl. She was discharged from the emergency clinic on Dec. 11 from the hospital on the same day as her graduation.

That day proved to the new #PhDMom that she is indeed a survivor. She explained,  “I was discharged from the hospital with a healthy baby girl at 12pm and attended graduation at 6pm.”

Kudaisi is currently an Instructional high school mathematics coach for the School Board of Polk County. She supports mathematics teachers in curriculum and instruction. In addition to her Ph.D., she holds a Bachelor of Science in Practical Theology, and a Master of Arts in Teaching Mathematics, and most recently a a Doctor of Philosophy of Curriculum and Instruction with a concentration in Mathematics Education.