Stories From The Field | October 2023

October 25, 2023

STORIES FROM THE FIELD:
Stories from our beloved Doctor Berly:

 

PO HAS SAFELY ARRIVED IN BARCELONA!

Po has successfully arrived! After meticulous planning and extensive logistics work spanning three months, this remarkable young boy is now on solid ground in Barcelona, Spain. He is under the dedicated care of our partner organization, Chain of Hope, and the medical team at Hospital Sant Joan De Deu, led by Doctors Caffarena and Sanchez-de-Toledo. Po’s catheterization is scheduled for the next week, and following this, the cardiac team will have improved imaging and a prognosis, paving the way for Po’s next open-heart surgery. From La Gonave, we’re all enthusiastically rooting for him. While his baby brother stays with us in La Gonave, his mother accompanied him on his journey to Europe.

A heartfelt thank you goes out to one of our partner organizations, 5-star Ministries, for supplying us with a portable oxygen concentrator to ensure Po’s safe journey to Barcelona, particularly after battling bacterial pneumonia. We’d also like to express our gratitude to UNHAS for facilitating a special request pickup to transport Po to Port-au-Prince for his international flight.

Staff Spotlight: Madam Yrde

Every child has the right to an education, regardless of their origin, religion, or condition. It’s a fact that some children with disabilities may learn at a different pace than their peers without disabilities.

In many countries worldwide, there are schools catering to children with special needs. In Haiti, such centers exist, but most are located in the capital. Now, picture a city with approximately 100,000 residents, including many children with disabilities, but lacking a special needs class. This was the situation on La Gonave island, but fortunately, thanks to For You Haiti, such a class now exists.

“It has been one year since I started working as a teacher for these remarkable students. It’s undeniably the most incredible experience of my life. I cherish the connection I have with them and the joy they exude when they come to school. You can see in their eyes how much they enjoy the class. It has always been my dream to serve my community and assist vulnerable children. There’s no better place to be!”

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ERLANDA LORMIL’S STORY:
“Why do so many people suffer? Why are there countless rare diseases without a cure?” These were questions that crossed my mind when I first met Erlanda.

Erlanda Esperance is an 8-year-old child from Nan Semma, a remote village in the southwest of Anse-A-Galets, the main city on La Gonave island. On February 8th, 2015, Sheelove and Donald were filled with joy, anticipating the arrival of their second child after a previous complicated pregnancy. However, when Erlanda was born, they discovered a small mass in her right upper eyelid.

Living far from the hospital, they decided to monitor the mass’s progress at home. After about a week, they noticed it was growing, prompting them to seek medical attention on the mainland. Following several examinations, Erlanda returned home. As she grew, the mass continued to enlarge. They returned to the mainland, but despite multiple attempts, doctors couldn’t determine the nature of the mass or the appropriate course of action. Years passed, but the parents remained without a solution.

At the age of 5, a nurse in their village recommended that they turn to For You Haiti for assistance. Following a medical evaluation, Erlanda was referred to a pediatric oncology center on the mainland. After numerous days of hospitalization, extensive examinations, and a biopsy, the oncology team discharged her, as the results ruled out any oncological condition. She was subsequently directed to an Ear, Nose, and Throat (ORL) and Ophthalmologist center, where she underwent various treatments, including injections, but with no improvement.

With almost all resources exhausted in Haiti without progress, the For You Haiti team decided to take additional steps to assist her. Currently, Erlanda is in the Dominican Republic, undergoing surgery. We monitor her progress daily and collaborate with a neurosurgeon to ensure the best possible outcome for Erlanda during her stay. Our greatest hope is that, upon her return to La Gonave, she will be able to lead a normal life.

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