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Page updated 7.12.2021

Emergency care students receive book donation

At an event held in ICT City, a building on Turku University of Applied Sciences’ Kupittaa campus, first-year emergency care students received new textbooks, funded by a donation from Turku UAS, Arts Academy’s Senior Music Lecturer, David Yoken.

The event opened with Camilla Laaksonen, Head of Education and Research, articulating events like this are historic moments celebrating kindness and empathy.

After Laaksonen’s presentation, Yoken shared the reasons impacting his decision to make this financial donation. 

Yoken arrived in Finland several years after meeting his future wife from Jyväskylä, Tarja Yoken, in New York City. In the early 1990s, both David, a musician, and Tarja, a dancer, moved from Sweden to Finland with their young daughter Hannah Kaarina Yoken, upon an invitation to teach at what eventually became the Turku UAS Arts Academy. As Yoken’s parents became older, Yoken was given the opportunity by the Arts Academy to travel to New York for extended periods to be his parents’ end of life caregiver. Through his observations and experiences, Yoken was deeply moved by the nurses and medical staff who dedicated their lives not only to towards his parents but to others.

In addition, Yoken recounted how after a bicycle accident on Ruissalo island and his 112-emergency call regarding his gravely injured knee, he found the ambulance driver and paramedic’s focus and compassion, as deeply committed to assist him, as were his parents’ caregivers.


During the past 18 months and all that has transpired with COVID19, Yoken realized that so often the nurses and paramedics are the ones on the front line and often are the first responders in dire medical situations. This led Yoken to inquire about opportunities to support the students studying in Turku UAS' degree programme in Emergency Care. His dialogue with Camilla Laaksonen led to the recommendation that his donation could support a recognized textbook (Amanda Blaber's “Assessment Skills for Paramedics”) being offered individually to the emergency care students. In addition to providing important information, the book’s English text also prepare students for the different situations of today's increasingly multicultural society. And in the end, it has been a donation of knowledge.


–  The event was small, but the atmosphere was very warm. It was unfortunate that the corona situation affected the occasion, and it was not possible to personally thank David for the books at the event, says Aada Elo, a first-year student in emergency care.


Kia Lehto, who started her studies in this same first entering class of students as Elo, also considered the opportunity valuable:


– I think that organizing such events is valuable, because the genuine respect shown by David inspired and encouraged myself to study. David’s kindness warmed the minds of both me and my friends!


Both students found the donated books useful. The English language mentioned by Yoken and the lecturers rose to prominence among students as well.

– The book is certainly useful both in studies and in the future in working life. It’s great to get to read literature related to the field from foreign writers as well. This gives a new perspective on the field. In addition, the fact that the book is in English develops our language skills related to the field, Elo commented.


Lecturers Nina Rantalaiho-Kuloja and Jari Säämänen, who attended the event, said that donations as this are unique and very important.


– The students' experiences regarding the usefulness of the book and the important message David conveyed to them about respecting and valuing another person also correspond to my own experience, Säämänen says.


Lehto's comment on the topic also speaks volumes about the importance of Yoken's message:


– I thought it was great that David grounded his donation with a personal story he told in Finnish. The sincere gratitude that emerged from David's speech is something that I myself want to offer my patients in my future working life.

Senior Music Lecturer David Yoken and first-year paramedic students at a donation event.