[Via Dr. Bertha Ayi] On April 1, 2020, I started a series dubbed Heroes of COVID-19. The world is facing a dark period. A mysterious illness has ravaged the human race, filling lungs up with lymphocyte rich secretions and asphyxiating our fellow humans to death. We are helpless. In the midst of this, some people have chosen to let their light shine.

Today’s Hero is Peter Yeboah, a respiratory therapist. He prefers not to be named. But I gave him no choice because he deserves it.

I met Peter in 1999 when I started my residency at Good Samaritan Hospital in Baltimore Maryland. He was unassuming and had a ready smile and lots of dry jokes. He was easy to get along with. I had just come to America and it was nice to run into him every now and then in the hallways or while I made rounds. I am now learning that he had just completed his education as respiratory therapist at New York University. I will share my the home cooked meals which my husband had dropped off for me with him or just chat about life in our downtime in the library as I prepared for my boards. It was nice to see a face reminiscent of Ghana and freely express myself in my local language while I figured out how to navigate the American Medical System. We will become good friends over the next three years and lose touch with each other till a few years ago, thanks to WhatsApp. It was only recently that I found out how he has been yearning to give back to Ghana.

Education

Completed New York University and graduated in 1998 as a Board Certified Respiratory Therapist.

Work History

  • He worked at Good Samaritan Hospital from 1998 for seven years
  • He then worked University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center for 11 years
  • While at Good Samaritan Hospital he also worked part time at multiple locations including in Maryland, USA: Maryland General Hospital (now Midtown Center) Johns Hopkins Bayview Center, Franklin Square Hospital Center (Now Medstar owned), Sinai Hospital, Long term Care Centers, Greater Baltimore Medical Center (GBMC) and several other hospitals
  • He moved back to New York in 2017 and Worked at New York Presbyterian Hospital Columbia.
  • He also worked at New York University (NYU) Medical Center for one year
  • He took to being a travel respiratory therapist working at Syracuse University Hospital in 2019
  • This new love for travel work took him to Dubai working at Cleveland Clinic –Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates from where he has been working with Dr. Theodora Panyin Fynn (former President of the Ghana Physicians and Surgeons Foundation, a down-to-earth no nonsense action woman based in Delaware) and Dr. Yaw Ofori-Adjei and his team of therapists and pulmonologists in their Medical Intensive Care Unit by remote technology to get them COVID-19 ready. To think he does this at the end of a working day is remarkable in view of the fact that Abu Dhabi is 9 hours ahead of US time.

Other Philanthropic work

  • In November he went to Ghana and paid a visit to Neonatal Intensive Care Unit commissioned by the Frist Lady, Her Excellency Rebecca Akufo-Addo. His went to work with the respiratory therapists to train the on the proper use of mechanical ventilators, the importance of protocols and the need for documentation on a flowsheet in the care of mechanically ventilated patients. He donated sample flowsheets and Oxygen analyzers. He demonstrated to them how to connect other devices and consumables to the ventilators. He demonstrated the use of noninvasive ventilation (NIV) to them and observed them practice what he has taught.
  • December 17 went to Korlebu to train the Respiratory Therapists. He was way ahead of the COVID-19 outbreak. He visited Dr. Yaw Ofori- Adjei and his MICU team.
  • He has visited Ridge Hospital to meet with Dr. Armah and to 37 Military Hospital to meet with Dr. Ayibor all in the hopes of sharing his knowledge on previous visits.

Peter is a hero in so many levels. He has wanted to share this wealth of experience with his motherland. Now you see why he is a COVD-19 hero. Please join me to acknowledge him.

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