As we continue to monitor the global COVID-19 pandemic, we’re doing our part to ensure that both our dedicated volunteers and the communities we serve can stay safe and protected. Learn How

A Father’s Love: the Search for N95s in Southern California

National Headquarters  |  May 26, 2020
Photo by Monique Kuo

Written by: Audrey Cheng  & Jennifer Chien
Translation by
Diana Chang
Edited by Dilber Shatursun

When Tzu Chi Medical Foundation CEO Dr. William Keh received a shipment of 240 N95 respirators from Tzu Chi Northeast, he placed a call to Ken Larsen. In little over an hour, Mr. Larsen had arrived at their office in Alhambra with a special mission: to find N95 respirators for his daughter Heather, an intensive care unit nurse at the Valley Presbyterian Hospital in Van Nuys, CA.

Since the pandemic began, Valley Presbyterian has had an influx of patients infected with the new coronavirus. Throughout the entire hospital, including the ICU where Heather works, there have been a limited number of N95 respirators available for staff. The direness of these shortages were made even more clear when two of her fellow nurses tested positive for the virus.

Facing risk of infection every time Heather reported for work, her father Ken was intent on making sure his daughter and her colleagues were safe. He began looking up and reaching out to every resource he could find to get a hold of some N95s, to no avail. That is, until, a family friend suggested he try reaching out to Tzu Chi.

Tim Chang is a legal counsel for Tzu Chi USA. When he learned of Ken’s search, he directed him to the Tzu Chi Medical Foundation’s request form, where requests could be made on behalf of institutions in need of personal protective equipment. On the day the personal protective equipment came in, Tim had arrived, too, along with his sister-in-law, Lynn Huang. They looked on as Ken grasped a box of N95s, teary eyed.

I’m very happy to say a few words of thanks, my heartfelt [thanks].

Ken Larsen, Care Recipient

Dr. Keh also expressed his gratitude to those Tzu Chi volunteers in New York who made this shipment possible.

I’m very grateful for the support from Tzu Chi New York branch in transferring a box of medical supply to Tzu Chi Medical Clinic for Ken. The father and daughter of the Larsen family deeply appreciate Tzu Chi’s donation, which really touches the hearts of every parent!

Dr. William Keh, Tzu Chi Medical Foundation, Chief Executive Officer

Lynn showed a photo from her phone; in it, were two young ladies with vibrant smiles. One was Heather. The other, was a colleague of hers that had passed from COVID-19. The promise of the PPE and the threat healthcare workers faced without it was too real; it was a dramatic reminder of life’s fragility.

Photo by Monique Kuo

More News Stories

Stay in Touch!

Get the latest stories and updates sent to your mailbox.

Connect With Us

T: +1 (909) 447.7799

Looking for an alternative way to give?

Donate your unwanted vehicle

Tzu Chi USA will receive the proceeds from your tax deductible donation.

Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation is a 501(c)(3). Copyright © Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation, 2020. Privacy Policy | Terms & Conditions 

X
微信裡點"發現"
掃QRCode便可分享此頁
複製網址
前往微信
按"複製網址"後複製連結後,再按"前往微信"即可前往微信App分享此頁