WALLINGFORD — A small observation by a patient at Gaylord Hospital started an effort to donate medical supplies to hospitals in Ghana, Africa.
Waterbury resident George Ayisi-Boaheme, who came to the U.S. from Ghana 30 years ago, was admitted about a month ago following a stroke. While returning to his room after physical therapy, he noticed that the TV sets were being replaced with newer flat-screen models and asked what Gaylord was going to do with the old TVs. He learned they were going to a landfill, but thought they would be better used elsewhere.
Kim Thomson, a Gaylord representative, said when the board of directors heard about the plan to send the TV sets to Ghana, they found other supplies to donate, including wheelchairs, walkers and mattresses.
“So now because of George’s help, we found one place that can take them all and use them all which is wonderful,” Thomson said.
Ayisi-Boaheme founded the Kumasi Foundation, a non-profit that supports projects to provide food, books, and medical supplies to hospitals, clinics, and schools in Ghana. He said items like mattresses can have a big impact on his home country, where mothers often give birth on the floor of medical clinics.
“Last time I went to Ghana I realized the need,” he said.
Ayisi-Boaheme came to the United States from Ghana 30 years ago to study and find a job. He is grateful for the care he received at Gaylord and wanted to help people in Ghana.
Plans are in the works to build a medical clinic in Ghana that will provide free medical care. Ayisi-Boaheme bought the land for the clinic last year for $1,000.
“To help people like this I’m very glad about this,” he said. “Whenever I go back to Africa, I would like them to have the same opportunities.”