A singing doctor in America is taking the world by storm, and in a way his inspiration to help people all started with a trip to South Africa a few years ago… which left him feeling “unstoppable”.
Dr Elvis Francois (his name really is Elvis!) posted a video a couple of weeks ago from Rochester in the US, where he’s a resident orthopaedic surgeon at the Mayo Clinic. The video features him singing a cover of John Lennons’ Imagine, accompanied by his friend and fellow resident, Dr William Robinson.
Sending love to the “7.53 billion people out there”, Dr Elvis said: “In life, there are so many things that divide us…. But today a global pandemic brings us all together as one.”
Dr Elvis said “when times are as dark as they are today, nothing shines brighter than the human spirit.”
“There is something beautiful about a collective struggle. And the beauty in what we are facing today is that the only way to overcome this pandemic is for us to all come together as one.” Watch the video here…
Watch Dr Elvis sing John Lennon’s Imagine
Imagine all the people…—-In life, there are so many things that divide us. Religion, race, politics, social status and so much more….But today a global pandemic brings us all together as one.—-Over the next few months our health care system will be tested. Many lives will be lost. Health care providers will be under an incredible amount of stress to save thousands of people. But when times are as dark as they are today, nothing shines brighter than the human spirit. —-There is something beautiful about a collective struggle. And the beauty in what we are facing today is that the only way to overcome this pandemic is for us to all come together as one. —-Nurses, doctors, students, research scientists, politicians, Uber eats drivers, cashiers, factory workers etc…..Getting through this will be hard but one thing is certain…the only way we will get through it is together, as one—-——-“You might say that I’m a dreamer. But I’m not the only one. I hope some day that you will join us…and the world will live as one….”—-Thankful for my brother William Robinson on the piano— 📸 Kevin A. Pace—Much love to all 7.53 billion people out there,Doctor Elvis
Posted by Elvis Francois on Monday, March 23, 2020
It’s already been watched over 6 million times on social media, but is not the first time the singing doctor has lifted people’s spirits.
He and Dr Robinson have long been posting videos to help patients and lift people out of suicidal depression. They’ve even performed at fund raisers; and were interviewed by Ellen on her show exactly two years ago today (3 April 2018). (Watch below.)
He says he turns to singing because when he was a child, around 11, his dad – a single father and New York cab driver – burst into song to lift their spirits when they were evicted from their home, and at other low points. On his posts Dr Elvis never misses an opportunity to sing his Haitian father’s praises.
Dr Elvis’ South African inspiration
And it was another father – in South Africa – who inspired him to use every challenge and hardship as an opportunity to help lift others.
In 2014, “as a third year medical student we had the opportunity of visiting a series of primary care clinics on the country side of South Africa,” he explains in an old Instagram post.
It was there, at a city clinic, that he met a father from a remote village who changed his outlook on life.
The man had travelled for four days on foot and bus with his nine-year-old daughter. She had a bone infection which had progressed to systemic sepsis.
“After spending what little the family could afford to make it to the main hospital they were met with the cost of the antibiotics that a father would need to save his daughter’s life. $88…. Her father made the 4 day trip back to their native village to personally borrow money from family and friends. Sadly, when he made his way back to Johannesburg too much time had passed. The hospital staff made an attempt to give her what antibiotics they had available but on that day a 9 year old girl died because her father didn’t have $88….”
But it’s what happened next that shook Dr Elvis.
Instead of anger and wallowing in grief, the South African dad decided to stay and work at that clinic and make sure something like that never happened to another parent’s son or daughter.
“When we left, that same man was mopping and cleaning the hospital. He later started fundraising to help off-set the cost of medications for pediatric patients who can’t afford medical care.
“Today that father’s pain is another family’s blessing… Just a reminder that any loss you face in life, any and every hardship you are forced to overcome is an opportunity to make yours and the life of someone else a little better…”
Today, Dr Elvis still uses the photo featured above from Joburg as his profile picture on Facebook because, he says, it’s so “meaningful”.
“I took this picture getting off of a plane (in Johannesburg) after having met that father… and since then I’ve felt unstoppable.”
He said it’s a reminder that “every hardship you are forced to overcome is an opportunity to make yours and the life of someone else a little better… No matter what happens use it to build for the people around you and never stop…ever…”