Doctor With a Big Heart

Doctor With a Big Heart

Ingida Asfaw came to the U.S. at 16, with a dream to bring medical care to his native Ethopia. Here's how the renowned Detroit heart surgeon has succeeded.

Ingida Asfaw traveled two weeks from Ethiopia to America aboard a cargo ship in 1958, arriving at age 16 with little money, a small suitcase, and a big dream: to become a doctor and return to Ethiopia with healing hands. He has achieved his dream against extraordinary odds, and has served thousands of patients personally since 1983. But he has never forgotten his homeland and the needs of so many of its impoverished and suffering citizens.

Today, Dr. Asfaw is a renowned heart surgeon based in metropolitan Detroit who leads a team of physicians each year back to Ethiopia to provide free and critically needed health care.

In 1999, he created the international coalition of doctors to address Ethiopia’s medical crisis and ensure that “the delivery of medicine is a human right each of us is entitled to.” He is the founder of the Ethiopian North American Health Professionals Association (ENAHPA).

Interweaving interviews with Dr. Asfaw and his family and colleagues, this short video profile by Fitzgerald Brunetti Inc. (FBI Productions) is featured on KarmaTube. It was produced for the now-defunct Volvo for Life Awards, an online search for real-life heroes who are helping improve their communities in safety, quality of life and environment.