Mohamed Lifts Up Others
Growing up in Somalia, Mohamed Jama Mohamed had a peaceful childhood. It was while working for the country’s agricultural department as a young adult serving dozens of villages when trouble hit. He was helping a friend pour gasoline into reserve containers when someone walked in with an open flame, unaware of what was going on, and then everything exploded, burning Mohamed badly.
This horrific accident and the journey to recovery is the beginning of this short story. Nearly two months after the injury, where he was able to only superficially treat his wounds, he left his homeland due to an intensifying war, and found his way to Kenya. It was there where he received the majority of his medical treatment. A nurse by the name of Lintari went out of her way to comfort and treat him.
At the end of his treatment, Lintari took him to her house for a goodbye cup of tea. On the walk, Mohamed asked:
“You don’t know me. We are from different countries. We don’t speak the same language. You have a different culture. What makes you go that extra step?”
She responded, “I believe if I do good, I will get good.”
Fast-forward a couple years later. Eventually settling in Nashville and after working several varying jobs, he “decided to go to school for a career in healthcare, because of the care I received when I was an injured, poor man.”
Lintari’s care, compassion, and kindness set into motion Mohamed’s desire to serve others in the form of healthcare.
To quickly get up to speed and to boost his confidence, he took some remedial and ESOL courses at Nashville State, before deciding on the Surgical Technology program, which he “saw as a gateway to the healthcare profession.”
“The Learning Center helped me with writing and vocabulary. They really built me up.”
After graduating from the Surg Tech program, he worked at Centennial Medical Center and then Vanderbilt University Hospital before becoming a traveling surgical technologist for a short time. It was in late 2000, when Mohamed moved to Minnesota and went back to school to get a bachelor’s in Nursing.
For the past twenty years, Mohamed has been at MHealth Fairview, a University of Minnesota affiliated facility, where he is now a charge nurse, supervising others.
By chance he was recently able to reconnect with Lintari, who is now retired from her work as a nurse.
If he is not at work or spending time with his wife and four children, Mohamed can often be found working on the non-profit he started, Healthcare Extension, Promotion and Training Organization (HEPTO). The mission is to bring healthcare supplies and training to countries in Africa, such as Somalia, Kenya, and Ethiopian. Lintari is helping him fulfill the mission.
HEPTO has based on the universal understanding of “give a man a fish you feed a day; teach a man how to fish and you feed him a lifetime,” remarked Mohamed in a conversation with his alma mater.
“I have always loved hearing and sharing uplifting stories,” he said. “A good portion of my story comes from my time at Nashville State.”