Benaja

July 8, 2022

This month, through our partnership with Childspring International, we now have the opportunity for a child in our program to receive critical surgery in the United States.  Benaja is a 9-year-old boy living with his family in Ansé-A-Galets and attending For You Haiti’s school.  He was born with a rare abdominal wall defect called Omphalocele.  This is a birth defect where the infant’s intestines, liver, or other organs stick outside of the belly through the belly button. The organs are covered in a thin, nearly transparent sac. Omphalocele is a life-threatening condition. It needs to be treated soon after birth so that the baby’s organs can develop and be protected in the belly.  In Benaja’s case, he wasn’t treated by a doctor until he was 4 years old. 

Benaja had his first surgery in 2015 in Haiti at Hospital Bernard Mevs by Dr. Henri Ford MD, MHA.  Dr. Ford brought a biological mesh from Los Angeles to be used in Benaja’s surgery in order to repair the abdominal wall.  The mesh was not expected to last forever and he would need a second surgery in approximately two to three years.

In the years following Benaja’s first surgery, many US doctors could not travel to Haiti because of the increased violence and instability in the country.  However, FYH continued to approach every doctor who visited Haiti over the last 6 years about Benaja’s case with no success.  Without the in-country expertise for Benaja’s particular surgery, there was little hope for this sweet boy!  

After 6 years, Benaja has the unbelievable opportunity to come to the US and have Dr. Ford perform the second surgery in Miami. Dr. Ford is currently the Dean and Chief Academic Officer at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.  Without his gracious support and that of Childspring International, this would not be possible for Benaja!  FYH staff will be his host family while in the US, being his health advocates and giving him all the love and support he needs to have a full recovery. 

We can’t wait to keep you updated on Benaja’s medical journey. 

 

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