One of the children who were saved at the Cardiothoracic Centre at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital when the centre was set up has returned to thank the surgeon who performed the procedure, Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng.
Like one of the lepers who were healed by Jesus, Oscar Akunor Dei, now 27, who holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Biological Sciences from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Kumasi, has returned to say thank you.
He was only a year old when he suffered a congenital heart disease, commonly known as hole in heart.
Prof. Frimpong-Boateng, now Minister for Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, successfully performed surgery on Oscar in 1990 to seal the hole in his heart, free of charge, leaving him hale and hearty.
Oscar, in the company of his parents and the Member of Parliament (MP) for Oforikrom in Kumasi in the Ashanti Region, Dr Emmanuel Marfo, called on Prof. Frimpong-Boateng in Accra to express his appreciation.
“What brought me here today is basically to come and see the man through whom I would say God saved my life when I was a baby; I actually knew nothing. It is a great pleasure. I am really glad today to see you and be able to say thank you for the service you rendered. I am here just to thank you. We really appreciate what you did for us,” an emotional Oscar said.
Mr Dei who is now a Research Assistant at the Physiology Department, School of Medical Sciences at KNUST, also expressed joy for meeting Prof. Frimpong-Boateng for the first time.
According to Oscar’s mother, Mrs Gladys Asiedua Dei, her son was diagnosed of the disease when Prof. Frimpong-Boateng had just returned from Germany to establish the National Cardiothoracic Centre at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital and “he didn’t even have an office.”
Oscar’s father, Mr Joshua Kingsley Dei, added: “People learn abroad and stay there forever but he made himself available to be of help to his country. He has been able to save lots of souls through that decision he made. We thank him so much, and may God bless him.”
Mr Dei further explained that two months prior to his son’s diagnosis, “someone had the same condition and died but my son is alive today by the grace of God through Prof. We are so much grateful.”
For his part, the MP, who also facilitated the meeting, called on health workers to put in their best efforts to save lives at all times, saying that “although government hospitals or facilities may not be adequate, we should do our best to save lives so that in future when you see somebody that you worked hard to save through the grace of God, you will be happy that you did something good for humanity.”