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Remembering Another Front-Line Worker Who Died Of COVID-19


On our program, we have been paying tribute to the front-line workers who have been killed by the coronavirus. And this morning, we're remembering the life of Yves-Emmanuel Segui. He died in early April at the age of 60.


He worked as a pharmacist in Yonkers, N.Y., where he continued to serve his community even as the pandemic worsened.

MORIT SEGUI: He just thought work as usual. There are a lot of sick people right now. And, like, there's even more of a reason for me to work.

MARTIN: That's his daughter Morit Segui, who's a physician.

GREENE: Yves-Emmanuel was from Ivory Coast and had worked as a pharmacist there for about 10 years. But when he came to the U.S., he faced a language barrier. He spoke French. And he learned that expectations for pharmacists in Ivory Coast are different than in the United States.

MARTIN: Despite that, his daughter says, he was persistent. And he kept taking the pharmacy licensing test.

SEGUI: He would number every letter that came through the mail that said, you failed. He would number one, two, three. Like, he numbered them until, like, the one where it says, congratulations. You passed. That really inspired me growing up. I mean, I'm now a doctor because of what I saw him doing and making people feel better. And the example that he showed me - that if you just keep working hard at something that it's going to become true. You're going to make it happen.

MARTIN: Morit's last memory of her father is meeting him at the halfway point on his two-hour commute.

SEGUI: My dad and I used to just, like, hang out, just the two of us. In order for me to catch him, I had to catch him in transit. This was one of those times where we always make plans to meet at some subway station. The best one was the one at World Trade Center. We talked for maybe 10 minutes. And unfortunately, things started closing. He said, OK, we'll talk later - because we didn't have a place to go and finish our conversation. But, like, you could tell, like, we weren't done. You know, we still had a lot of stuff to talk about.


GREENE: Morit Segui remembering her late father, Yves-Emmanuel Segui, who died of COVID-19. And we have remembrances of other front-line workers at npr.org. You can also submit your own remembrances of front-line workers there, as well.

(SOUNDBITE OF PODINGTON BEAR'S "DEGRADATION") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.