Seth Danso

On Sunday evening, October 6, 2013, Seth Danso was at home in Accra, Ghana, when he found himself suddenly breathless. Little did he realize that just ten days later he’d be a patient of Dr. Cyril Ofori at Wooster Community Hospital.

Mr. Danso was feeling very uncomfortable that evening when he happened to receive a phone call from a local friend. “I could hardly talk to him. He inquired what was wrong and I told him I was breathless with severe pains in the chest. He told me that his son, a cardiologist, had been visiting Ghana and was leaving that evening.”

Mr. Danso’s friend happened to be the father of Dr. Cyril Ofori of the Wooster Heart Group. Ofori, a native of Ghana, travels there regularly to provide free cardiology services and consultation as well as to assist his wife, who is building a women’s hospital “to serve a much-needed gap in women’s health care.”

While on the phone with Seth, It became clear to Dr. Ofori that the matter was serious. “When I talked to him, he sounded so bad I asked if he could come over to see me.” That was around 5:45 p.m. and Ofori’s plane was scheduled to take off at 10:00 p.m. Seth was able to quickly find someone to drive him and, because it was a Sunday evening, he made it to his friend’s house quickly. Danso explains, “If it had been a normal work day it would have taken three times longer to get there, but I was lucky it was a Sunday.”

When Danso arrived, Dr. Ofori diagnosed him with congestive heart failure, angina, and hypertension. In Ghana, he would likely have had to wait several weeks to be diagnosed. Ofori, who is fully licensed in Ghana, prescribed several medications that temporarily stabilized Danso’s condition.

“When I got to New York the next day, I called Seth and told him he should seriously consider a further cardiac workup to be able to figure out what was going on. [Because of the lack of medical care available locally] he had the options of going to the U.K., South Africa, or coming to the U.S.–either New York City, Chicago, or Wooster.”

Seth explained that he considered South Africa, but was advised that “if there is a choice [for medical care] it is always America.” He decided to come to Wooster because he had already met Dr. Ofori and was confident in the quality of care he would receive.

“Everyone has been very friendly–especially the hospital staff. It’s been wonderful. Wooster is a name that will stay with me forever. I will never forget the people of Wooster.”

In December Dr. Ofori returned to Ghana where he was able to follow up with his faraway patient. When asked about the experience of helping bring a patient to Wooster from so far away, Ofori shared these thoughts: “It’s helpful that technology is advanced enough now that most of these procedures can be carried out successfully on an outpatient basis, thus minimizing the cost and time involved for the patient. The other thing is that it shows you to what length people go for great medical care. It’s something for the American people to think about–the health care we take for granted.”

Danso had a heart catheterization on Tuesday, October 15, and a subsequent angioplasty with a stent. For both procedures he was discharged the same day. Seth was accompanied to Wooster by his son, George (a Chicago resident). The two very much enjoyed their brief stay in Ohio. “Everyone has been very friendly– especially the hospital staff. It’s been wonderful. Wooster is a name that will stay with me forever. I will never forget the people of Wooster.”