Hi Pearl, can you tell us more about yourself?
I grew up in Ghana, a country in West Africa where getting an annual physical is only for the wealthy who can afford to pay in cash. When illness hit, it is not a matter of ‘I may die’, but rather ‘I will die.’ Looking back, I wonder why I was not pulled to nursing originally. Rather, the world of protocol and law spoke to me, as I majored in Social and Political Science.
In the 2000s being, some of my family members in America offered to sponsor my immigration. Many of them holding careers in the healthcare field, they encouraged me to do the same. What ultimately pulled the needle into the thread was paying a visit to my aunt at work. She was caring for an elderly woman in her final years with utmost dedication. The lady was placed on hospice care with six months to live, but the devoted care my aunt provided kept her alive.
As a nurse myself, I feel like seeing the happiness of my patients drives me. They are so thankful that I feel at home working with them. My view on nursing has always been that we care for healthy people who turned sick. I was utterly shocked to find out how many children are born with chronic illnesses, or special needs. When I gave birth to my two beautiful children, Collette, who is now eight years old and Danielle, now four, I was overwhelmed with gratitude their health, something we so easily take for granted.
When I was introduced to the American Healthcare system, I noticed the disparity of the medical care back in Ghana in contrast to those in America. This led me to open an organization called ‘Progressive Vision’ which advocates for my fellow countrymen suffering back at home.
You sound like you have a great vision! Can you elaborate more about your organization ‘Progressive Vision’?
Nursing exposed me to the role of medical equipment in saving lives of the sick population. I was in touch with my friends back in Ghana, some of who were now influential leaders in the parliament, I heard about the shortages taking place. My friends who work in healthcare back in Ghana would talk about shortages of simple equipment like Syringes for the Tuberculosis vaccine. Unfortunately, Tuberculosis is not extinct back there.
Baby Formula is also in very short supply. Medical insurance coverage barely covers basic meds, while you must pay advance cash for your hospital stay, blood transfusions or oxygen concentrators or else you are left to die.
My goal when launching Progressive Vision is to get people to donate medical supplies they no longer need, then ship it to Ghana to help save lives. My friends then distribute them amongst hospitals, or homebound patients in need. During Covid, I heard there were not more than fifty ventilators in total throughout the country!
Every so often I will take the supplies we collected and ship it altogether. When I explained to the shipping company that this is charity, asking if he would give a discount, he laughed me off saying he does not believe that I am paying all of the expenses out of pocket. He was convinced I am selling it for a profit!
You can connect with me to join my vision and save lives!
Can you share a special moment throughout your nursing career?
My first homecare patient was eighteen years old, non-verbal, and non-ambulatory. Although she would not respond, I spoke to her a lot. At our first meeting Her mother informed me that her favorite song was the ‘I love you” song from Barney the Dinosaur. My patient would attend school every day and I would be the one to welcome her off the bus. Every day, I would sing the “I love you” song from Barnie, something that always lit a special spark in her eyes. I will never forget that day when I took her off the bus and she stared singing I – I – l-o-v-e-y-o-u… in broken syllables but we could still hear out the words. I was so touched. Her mother and everyone around there, her teachers, could not believe that this is the same girl. The mother would always tell me years after “Pearl, you were the first one to make my daughter speak.”
What do you love doing in your off time to recharge?
Spending time with my supportive husband and lovely children Danielle and Collette is what brings me real joy. I am the kind of mother who loves to be hands on with the kids to make them giggle and seeing them have fun. Last year I ordered a small jungle gym for my backyard from Walmart, it became the place where my children get their energy out, especially when the weathers turn warm. This year I plan on purchasing a trampoline for them to have a wonderful summer!
Any message you would have for more nurses?
A few weeks ago, I got on the line with a customer service representative of a company in regard to a product I was dissatisfied with. The clerk started getting all worked up and personal. I found myself explaining to her that there is no need to get all hot about it because I am calling about a product. No offense to her at all. My thoughts soon brought me to myself and you, my fellow nursing colleagues.
As nurses, sometimes patients’ families can act hostile. It is strange? Absolutely. We come into their home to help them. And yet, they are in a troubled position where they are sometimes angry at what is going on in their lives. They do not mean you or me. It is not us. It is hard but important to make a disconnect to continue delivering good care. It takes a nurses’ ear to hear the pain and desperation lying just behind the rough voices.
When Pearl was presented with the Certificate of Excellence award by our Director of Patient Services in the office on May 19th, she surprised us with a beautiful message! Read on.
Good afternoon everyone.
Words fail me.
Let me give thanks to the almighty God. I am thankful to you for this recognition! To my late parents, Mr. Daniel Kofi Asomaning, and Madam Theresa Korkor Djan, thank you for grooming me to become the exemplary woman I am.
Nurses, doctors and allied health professionals suffered from covid 19 too, and so did many others who lost their lives and loved ones! We are all just now trying to build our lives back! It is therefore humbling to be honored at this time.
Let me express my appreciation to the incredibly amazing Bonnie Spielman for nominating me for this award, and the selection team for conferring this award on me. It is truly gratifying to be recognized among such talented and compassionate healthcare professionals.
I would also like to express my gratitude to Brany Stern, my coordinator, who goes above and beyond at all times to connect me to my adorable patients and their families, and for giving me working hours that are flexible, thereby creating a positive work/life balance.
Most importantly, I want to thank my patients and their families. It is a privilege to be entrusted with their care, and I am constantly inspired by their strength and resilience. Your trust and appreciation make every day as a nurse rewarding and fulfilling.
I believe that nursing is not just a job, but a calling. It requires compassion, dedication, and a commitment to excellence. I am proud to be part of a profession that makes a positive difference in people’s lives every day.
I am thankful to my husband, Mr. Hugues Kemajou, my kids, and my extended family, especially Tatyana Tawiah, for providing a support system at home, which grants me the opportunity to go to work whenever possible, without worrying if my adorable kids, Colette and Daniel, are ok while I’m at work.
Finally, I would like to dedicate this award to all the nurses who work tirelessly to provide exceptional care to their patients. Your hard work and compassion will not go unnoticed, and I am honored to be part of such an amazing community.
Thank you once again for this incredible honor. I will continue to strive for excellence in Nursing.
Best wishes to all of you great nurses! This award is for you!
God bless us all.