A Day in Haiti

A boy came to the orphanage today, with his 2 yr old son. He was just 21. He wanted us to take the little boy because he could not manage to take care of him. Our social worker told him that we do not take cases like this, there is a process, a procedure- what’s the difference? For sure we can’t accept every case like this. I gave him a ride back down the mountain. I noticed how lovingly he held his child. I noticed that for the whole journey, 60 minutes long, the child made not a sound and the child was awake. I noticed the child did not smile or did not react in any way other than to tightly hold his father. I noticed that the child had two small fingers in his mouth the whole time. I noticed we could not help.  I noticed that he is one of so so many seeking our help that we have to turn away. I noticed that I felt like crap when they got out of the car. I slipped some money into the young father’s hand as I wished him well and I saved my tears for now!

We went to visit Wilfo after that. He is a twenty nine year old university student that was working in the adult hospital right next to our Rehab Centre. Last week he was shot and robbed right outside our gate as he walked from the hospital to the admin building. Now he is paralyzed- he can only move his right arm. He can talk and smile politely and thank us for coming to see him and thank us for our prayers. He can tell us that he cannot move his legs and that he is in pain and cannot sleep at night. His aunt showed us the tube coming from his lung, the bandages that cover so much and yet offer so little protection from the harsh reality that haunts his sleepless hours. What hope has he now? His only hope is that Father Rick might be able to airlift him out of here to a hospital that will give him a better chance. So far no such hospital has been found. On paper, his seems like a hopeless case. In a hospital bed, he is a gentle young man with sad eyes that deserves every chance.

My day started in my house with the laughter and joy of the kids I live with. It is ending now with my head filled with wonderings.  It is ending with the faces of a nameless father and son and a 29 yrd old paralysed boy close to my closing eyes. As always I wonder, what if it was my brothers,my little nephew, my family. As always I feel they are my family. Because we are all family.
This is our Ayiti Cheri-our dear Haiti!

Contributed by Gena Heraty, Director Special Needs Program

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