Nicole Angemi grew up in a traditional Italian household in Glendora, New Jersey. Her parents were loving and supportive, which was to her benefit when she got pregnant at fifteen. At nineteen, Nicole was delivering pizzas and working at a scrapbook store, when her mother asked, “What are you doing with your life? You have a kid!”
Looking towards her future, Nicole decided to pursue a career in nursing (a popular profession with the women in her family), but quickly realized that she didn’t possess the “nurturing quality” that the job required. She began to investigate other options, and after viewing cells through a microscope, Nicole knew that working in a lab was her true calling…until the day that a nauseating stench filled the halls of the hospital.
Curious about the source of the putrid odor, Nicole was taken to the pathology department and shown a leaky fridge that was filled with gangrenous, amputated legs. She was hooked, and as soon as a position became available, Nicole started working in the pathology department. She now holds the holds the highest technical position – pathology assistant. She is responsible for conducting autopsies and analyzing surgical specimens. She works directly with doctors to diagnose patients and establish cause of death.
Her interest in educating the masses about the human body resulted in her creation of an Instagram account that has almost 1million followers. She uses social media as a platform to teach people about how the body functions when confronted with diseases – those that are acquired naturally and those that are self-inflicted. She is forthright, opinionated and brutally honest, which sparks a lot of “spirited” discussion in her feed. She reads all the comments on her account and responds accordingly. She loves to educate people, but won’t tolerate insensitive or insulting comments. These are responded to with a fervor that is borne of a fierce passion and profound respect for the work. If you don’t like it, you are sincerely encouraged to “unfollow.”
Nicole also has two younger daughters, Lillian (3) and Lucia (1), and is married to Gabriel, a firefighter. Their home is filled with an enviable collection of medical specimens and one-of-kind-curiosities. She has worked in most of the community and university hospitals in the tri-state area, but is currently employed at a hospital in New Jersey. She also teaches at Drexel. Her oldest daughter, Maria, is now twenty-two, an accomplished photographer, and about to graduate from college.
To learn more about Nicole’s work, download this week’s episode of Weekly Infusion with Nicole Angemi.