When I met Anne in December 2017, she had been in a sling with a functionless and painful arm for four months, her fractured humerus unhealed. She had been in a sling since she had been hit by a car in the streets of Port-au-Prince. She could not afford to see a doctor. She was unable to perform selfcare due to nerve damage and pain.
She awaited our arrival just before Christmas last year. With our financial support, the local Haitian Orthopedic Residents repaired her arm while our team assisted and supplied the equipment required. I saw her today with a smile on her face and tears in her eyes as she showed me her function with her fracture and nerve injury healed. She now has returned to her “normal” life her. Her gratitude brings me to tears.
Two hours later I was in rounds with the Orthopedic Residents at the General Hospital in Port-au-Prince where there was no electricity and no air conditioning, temperatures and humidity above 90. One of the wards was home to 8 men with 10 femur fractures lying side by side in cots where they had been for 4-8 weeks, some in traction and others in a variety of splints, all with severe deformities that would leave them crippled. Their families occupy the small space between cots and some have created make-shift shelves for the new family “home” as their loved ones lie in bed hopefully healing. They have no access to resources that would allow the surgical procedures that could make them whole, no hope for return to their life and work unless we the visiting docs can provide it in our short time here. We hope to help 2 or 3 of them. The others we will not have enough time to help. Frantz is one of the lucky ones.
The last patient we see has a tumor on his right leg the size of a large pillow. Large enough that he cannot lift his leg. He is in his early twenties and without resources did not seek care until it was too late. He will not survive long.
After 9 years of work here in 29 trips to Haiti, I continue to be reminded of the enormity of the issues with the lack of available treatment. Eight young men crippled who may never be able to support their families. Some will be chosen others will not, they are all My Brothers.
Without your support, we would not be able to help any, with it we can help a few and train others to help many more. Haiti’s hope is in her children and she has many talented ones that are hungry for knowledge and anxious to make a difference.
With love from Haiti