The legacy of Dr. Deborrah Hyde
LAUREL, Miss. (WDAM) - Dr. Deborrah Hyde is well-known for being a trailblazer, being the second African American female neurosurgeon in the country, but she says it almost didn’t happen.
“I was initially told by the professor where I trained that neurosurgery was too difficult for a woman, too difficult physically and mentally, and that I should go think about being a neurologist, but eventually he allowed me into the program, and I was the first Black woman, well, I was the first woman and the first Black person in the training program,” said Hyde.
Hyde went on to have a private practice for 32 years in California where she says surgery kept her up for hours, and to her surprise, made her an entrepreneur.
“I just thought I needed a hobby that would allow me to perhaps after a few hours, get some sleep,” Hyde said. “So, I started making jewelry all with natural stones and using sterling silver all by hand, and I started to wear pieces, and people started to buy things off my body.”
Hyde is also a big believer in the bible verse that says, “to whom much is given, much is required.” This verse inspired her to start her own foundation, the Beacon of Hope, in 1991, helping students focus on higher education.
“We gave them $1,000 dollars every year as long as they maintained a ‘B’ average, and we also gave students who were in middle school $500 dollars if they were excelling well just to motivate them and to sort of serve as a mentor to them to achieve higher goals as well,” Hyde said.
What is the key to her success? Hyde said it is to reach for the stars.
“Dream big dreams and hope grand hopes, and if you’re willing to put in the time, the hard work (and) the determination, you can really achieve anything you want,” Hyde said.
Hyde now works at Ellisville State School and stays involved in her community through different speaking engagements.
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