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UofL Health employee helps fight COVID-19 on hospital ship in NYC

Kossi Fandoumi was given only two days to pack up and serve on the hospital ship, USNS Comfort, in New York City Harbor.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A University of Louisville Hospital employee is working alongside doctors and nurses to combat COVID-19 in the epicenter of the United States.

Kossi Fandoumi is a Navy Reservist and a lab technician on the microbiology team at UofL Hospital. He was given only two days to pack up and serve on the hospital ship, USNS Comfort, in New York City Harbor. There, he is testing plasma samples.

"It was fairly easy to say yes without any hesitation," Fandoumi said. "When your nation calls upon you, that's what I'm here to do and I can do it all day long 24/7."

The call to action makes it Fandoumi's third deployment. 

"Pretty much everyone is on quarantine – this is a great mission," Fandoumi said.

The Navy Reservist admitted it is a new experience he has never seen before in his 10 years of serving.

"It's tough on our families, but I think here the most important thing is knowing that you are making a positive difference in people's lives in New York," Fandoumi said. "I'm providing lab test results to the doctors wanting a broad sample from those patients aboard the ship."

Fandoumi helps conduct more than 200 tests each day on the hospital ship.

"I'm here to provide the best lab test results to the doctors and nurses so they can take it and provide the best help," he said. 

Fandoumi said he will be deployed for two months. Though it is challenging being away from his wife and daughter in Kentucky, he is committing to stay on board as long as there is a need.  

"It's a great honor to be here representing the Navy," he said. "It's a great honor knowing that the test results we are giving out is providing good results to the doctors so they can help people in New York get back on their feet as soon as they can."

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