I am deeply saddened by the loss of George Ofori-Amanfo. I had the privilege of training in Pediatrics alongside George at Columbia over 20 years ago. He was an incredibly special human; the quintessential doctor; with a smile that seemed able to fix all that is broken and gain trust from just about anyone.
I am heartbroken that he may not have known the profound impact he has had on me. I was comforted in hearing the stories shared by friends and family at the memorial service. While each story may have contained different characters, settings, plots, and resolutions, I was immediately struck by the consistency in the theme and message gleaned from in each remembrance shared, and knew immediately that he touched so many in exactly the same way he touched me. His impact seemed universal to everyone lucky enough to have shared even a sliver of his life.
George showed me the importance of patience and mindfulness in both medicine and in life. I recall one specific story that has stuck with me all these years; an anecdote about George and me in the NICU, that I tell all the time, in which his thoughtful, meaningful approach made all the difference.
I wish I could say he “taught” me patience; I have yet to master this skill and struggle with it every day. On the bright side, since I remain a work in progress, I often find myself rushing through my “to do” lists, checking off boxes, and then smiling while I think of George, see his face in my mind’s eye, and hear his voice telling me to slow down.
While George was many things to many people; physician, mentor, colleague, husband, father, and friend, he was a teacher to us all and his kindness, empathy, mindfulness, and patience will not be lost nor forgotten. He will continue to live through all blessed with knowing him, and I am grateful to have been touched and bettered by his kind, gentle, and compassionate soul. My deepest and most sincere condolences to his family and closest friends.