Footprints Through Time: Raymond Lee (1941-)
Raymond Lee was born in Baltimore, Maryland in 1941. At the age of three he moved to live with his grandmother in rural Virginia. By the time he was nine years old, he was accompanying her on her midwife rounds in the countryside, delivering babies 30 miles form the nearest hospital. Her example inspired him later in his career.
"I've been fortunate to meet people along the way who saw I had something to offer," Lee has said. He moved back to Baltimore to complete high school.
In 1959 he started working at Johns Hopkins University Hospital, first in housekeeping and then as an elevator operator. "I ran the Halsted elevator from the basement to the seventh floor, but God saw I should be going higher," he said, referring to the path his career took after meeting Vivien Thomas.
Lee met Thomas on the elevator one day. When Thomas asked if Lee would be interested in working in the surgical laboratory, Lee jumped at the opportunity.
Working in the laboratory, Lee attracted the notice of Dr. Alex Haller, who saw that Lee had the skills to be a physician's assistant. Lee was the first physician's assistant in the cardiac service at Hopkins, and worked in that capacity until 1994. His career and dedication have been noted in the Baltimore Sun and elsewhere.
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