A message from our new Kinston director, Lesley Rigsby

Hello everyone, I am Lesley Rigsby, the new center director at the EPIC Center in Kinston. I was born and raised in Kinston and love this town. I have been a registered nurse for 19 years in the Family Birth Center at UNC Health Lenoir, here in Kinston, and have dedicated my career to educating and caring for pregnant women.

So, you might be asking why did you decide to be a nurse or take on this new role as center director? Well, for me, it goes back to personal experiences. I knew early on in my life that I wanted to be a nurse. When I was nine years old, I had spinal meningitis and was very sick. I remembered how caring and compassionate my nurses were, and I knew I wanted to help others as others had done for me. I worked hard in school and pushed myself to do well.

Thinking I had everything planned out and that I was in control, but that came to a sudden stop when I found myself in an unplanned pregnancy at seventeen years old. I was a rising senior, scared, confused, and unsure of what to do. I began feeling the walls around me closing in. I was raised in church and knew that life began at conception. My heart was telling me one thing and my mind and other people were telling me something different.

I will never forget how hard it was to tell my parents and my boyfriend. I did not want to disappoint anyone or cause shame to my family. I had never heard nor been told anything about pregnancy centers or the work they do, and boy I wished I had. Maybe my story would have ended differently for me had I known. I was not met with understanding, care, or compassion. No one to really explain to me my options, how far along I was, or to even verify I had a viable pregnancy.

I had hardly even processed the fact that I had a positive pregnancy test before I had to decide what to do concerning my pregnancy. Scared, confused, anxious are just a few of the emotions I was feeling. It was at this crossroad in my life that I knew I would do whatever it would take to help others in the same situation. I have dedicated my career to Women’s Health.

The birth of a child never gets old to me. No matter if I am laboring with an expecting mother or caring for her newborn baby, I know I am doing what God has called me to do. Several years after my unplanned pregnancy, I was introduced to the EPIC Center in Kinston.

I found hope and healing through their post-abortion Bible study class. I was a new nurse at the time and knew that God was going to take my heartache and pain and use it for His glory. I helped the center transition to medical in 2009. By becoming a medical center, we could offer free pregnancy tests and ultrasounds to women who were facing an unplanned pregnancy.

I have had the honor of sitting down with hundreds of women over the years to meet them right where they are. To help them know they are not alone and that someone does care for them as individuals. I have prayed with them, cried with them, cheered them on, and shared vital information to help them. I am not there to judge them or push them to make a decision. I am there to speak love, grace, and truth to them.

Don’t get me wrong, I would love for everyone to choose life for their unborn child, but that is not always the outcome. It is my desire that no one ever walks this journey alone but knows that there are people who care. Until next time remember you are loved, you are special, and you are not alone!