FOREST HILLS, Queens (PIX11) – Dejean Torrington spends his days at Long Island Jewish Hospital in Forest Hills cleaning the operating rooms as a turnover technician.
“That means that all the blood and gore that might’ve been caused by an operation gets cleaned by us,” Torrington said.
The 27-year-old from Guyana is working his way up to become a doctor like his father, Wesley Torrington, once was.
“My goal at this hospital is to get to learn as much as I can about the health care system, about the hospital experience, before going to medical school,” Torrington said.
Torrington and his family came to the United States when he was 7 years old, but earning a medical degree in the U.S. became too big an obstacle for his dad who went back to work in Guyana.
The rest of the family stayed, and that was the last time they saw his father in person. Torrington was granted advance parole to travel in September of 2020. His father died just a few months later in November.
“One of the last things he said to me was, ‘Don’t give up on medicine,’” Torrington recalled.
Torrington graduated from City College of New York, and thanks to Northwell Health, he will start a one-year program this summer in Buffalo to prepare him for medical school at the Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra University on Long Island.
For his success so far, he credits the hard work he put in and the support he received from his family, his high school sweetheart, Candice, who he married, and his peers and supervisors at the hospital.
“I had no legal status in the United States and my mom didn’t even know if I was going to be able to go to college,” Torrington said. “The road wasn’t straight, but I got here eventually.”
Torrington doesn’t know which path medical school will take him in the future, but right now he knows he wants to become a surgical doctor.