Peter Foster, Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA), leans toward his computer monitor, his nose nearly touching the screen. Quickly scanning his patient’s vitals, Peter announces the next drug needed to stabilize blood pressure. A moment passes, and then Peter states that the patient’s blood pressure has stabilized, and oxygen levels are normal. “He’s comfortable now,” Peter grins as he briefly looks away from the monitor.
However, none of this is real. It’s a simulation. This patient and surgery procedure are part of a computerized training program. Peter Foster isn’t a CRNA – not yet, anyway. Becoming a CRNA is a big dream for Peter.
The 23-year-old was selected by Christian Record Services for the Blind (CRSB) to star in the Annual Day of Giving project video (watch below). The video was featured in NAD churches on Sabbath, April 11.
Peter is a gifted young man who also happens to be visually impaired.
“I was so excited when I learned about Peter,” said Terry Marston, CRSB call center clerk. Marston searched for an inspirational story about an individual who received CRSB reading services and attended camp through National Camps for the Blind. “It is evident that Peter has the love of Jesus in his heart,” he said. “We were looking for an inspiring story, and it seemed that he inspired us as well.”
When Christian Record sent a film crew to interview Peter, they too learned about the joyful way that Peter approaches life. He was eager to share about the Braille hymnal that CRSB gifted to him and led the group in an impromptu song service in his living room. At one point during filming, the crew was squeezed into Peter’s bedroom so he could demonstrate, through his enthusiastic giggles, his surgery simulator.
At first glance, Peter seemed fragile. “I have very small air passages. I can’t smell or taste food. And it’s difficult to swallow,” he said. However, once he sat to play the piano or to conduct a simulated surgery, Peter’s zest for life shone through.
At National Camps for the Blind, he enjoyed sharing his passions for medicine and music. “Not only was he interested in just seeing us on a regular basis as needed,” said camp nurse Donna Miller, “but he considered us an activity. He would schedule time that he could sit with us and have conversations about nursing as a profession and particularly anesthesia care. I would say at times he knows more about my career than I do.”
Camp attendees call Peter “Johann” because he enjoys playing the music of Johann Sebastian Bach. Talent night is a highlight of camp for many who attend, and Peter is always ready to perform on the piano.
Peter reads braille, in addition to print that he can bring close to his face. Besides the free materials sent to him from Christian Record, he also enjoys reading and researching medical topics related to anesthesia care.
Returning to his monitor, Peter notices that the patient needs more of a particular medication. He scans the screen, makes a few adjustments, and then announces that his patient has completed surgery. “Yesterday I saved four patients,” he shares, and then a giggle escapes his lips. “It would have been five, but my mom interrupted me.”
Peter Foster has embraced his life, along its unique detours, and by doing so has inspired many also to reach for big dreams.
Learn more about CRSB’s Annual Day of Giving or make a donation.
A condensed version of this article is also being published in the May 2015 print edition of OUTLOOK. It was written by Jeri Lyn Rogge, assistant to the president for development at Christian Record Services for the Blind.