Tribute to Dr George Ofori-Amanfo (aka Roxy, Zibello)
A friend and cherished colleague
“Grief is like glitter. You can throw a handful of glitter up in the air, but when you try to clean it up, you’ll never get it all. Even long after the event, you will still find glitter tucked into corners… it will always be there. Somewhere.” @Irish_Cuchulainn
In September 1982, a group of medical students started the School of Medical Sciences, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana. We spent 7 long years together, through difficult times and through very happy times. Seven long years, forming bonds that could never be broken. We graduated in 1989 and went our separate ways.
Amongst our ranks was Dr. George Ofori-Amanfo, whom we called Roxy, Zibello. I don’t know where the name came from but it was the name of this one young man. One very bright, vivacious and engaging young man. Roxy was intelligent, focused and full of life, very jovial and playful. He was a sportsman, always ready to be part of the SMS Team. He always seemed to have answers. Answers to the school work we had, answers to the questions of life, answers to everything. No matter the question you had, Roxy had an answer. Now, we ask why? what happened? why did we not know? could we have helped? And we hear no answer come from Roxy.
Roxy was a great colleague, a man of all, always smiling, always scheming, always helping us to forge the way ahead. With school work, he was brilliant – he would help you with biochemistry, pathology, anatomy, you name it! He would help you make coffee so thick, you had to hold your nose to drink it – just so you could stay awake at night and study. Roxy was kind, even after our school days he continued to help and support whenever you reached out to him. Roxy gave up his New York flat so his class mate had a place to stay when she most needed it. Roxy gave the solution on how to re boil hot water so that your tea tasted just right.
On the work front Roxy, loved his work! He excelled and held several esteemed positions in the USA – in New York, Philadelphia and North Carolina. He became a Professor and Division Chief of Pediatric Critical Care Medicine in the Jack and Lucy Clark Department of Pediatrics at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and at Mount Sinai Kravis Children’s Hospital. Roxy was a compassionate and very thoughtful person. This was most evident in the efforts he made to bring his field of expertise back to his homeland, Ghana and to other developing countries. He organized several medical missions back to Ghana to provide critically needed services in his alma mater, Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, Kumasi. He also held virtual workshops to support Paediatric Intensive Care Units in Ghana. His work no doubt having a positive and lasting impact on many lives.
Roxy was a colleague, a friend and an inspiration. Roxy, we the SMS 1989-Year Group will never forget you. Roxy, Zibello, you have completed your work on earth, you did a great job and we salute you! Roxy, Zibello, may the good Lord grant you eternal rest.
Roxy, Da Yie. Ayekoo!!