A momentous occasion occurred recently at Mayo Clinic in Florida when a bone marrow transplant patient, Kongphaly Aphayasane, was awarded United States citizenship in her hospital room.
Aphayasane, a native from Laos, has been working diligently to achieve this significant milestone. “I studied a lot for the citizenship and I am so happy,” said Aphayasane.
She passed the citizenship examination days prior to her admittance into the hospital for a bone marrow transplant to treat Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Unfortunately, her condition and subsequent transplant procedure prevented her attendance at her citizenship ceremony. Much to her delight, the ceremony was brought to her hospital room.
The idea to bring the citizenship ceremony to Aphayasane was generated through the teamwork of John Wade, Transplant Clinical Coordinator, and Stephen Dyar, M.D., at Mayo Clinic Florida’s Campus. Through communication with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, Wade and Dyar were able to orchestrate a touching citizenship ceremony for the patient.
When asked how Aphayasane feels about her new citizenship she responded, “I am happy and I feel like I have a new life.”