Dieudonne in his new house
Discharging people with a spinal cord injury who do not have family is always a challenge. Over the past few years, we have been trying to find a good solution for these patients staying at our rehabilitation unit. We created a transition home outside of our volunteer village and had three patients move in there. The transition home was equipped with the basic needs of a Haitian house.
Now, a little over a year later, they have finally found their own homes and were able to move out. They got some financial help to get the basic needs for their new houses, a bed, mosquito net and a solar lamp. We were also able to help them with a little start up business, so they can now continue caring for themselves and their families.
It is always strange to let people go after they have stayed with us for such a long time. And one never really knows, if the plans that were made are actually going to work out.
I went to visit Dieudonne last week. The little house he lives in isn’t gray inside anymore, he had some friends come help him paint the walls to make it look more friendly. Everything inside the one room was neat and clean, he proudly told me how much he liked to finally be able to take care of everything himself.
Every day he rides, propelling his wheelchair, about 15 minutes up the main road to where he works in a cooperation building solar panels. He was part of a UN project which offered him a one year training in that field. He doesn’t stop working when he gets back home. With the start up aid he got when he left the hospital, he purchased material to make smaller solar panels at his house, which he can sell in his neighbourhood to make some extra money to live on.
He still has to come to the rehab unit regularly to check and dress his wounds. But it is great to see what education of the patient and continuous training of the staff here can do!
We believe that the long term future of every patient is just as important as the intensive rehab they receive at the hospital. Finding ways to empower the patients giving them independence and access to work is so important and something we will always work to improve. Your support is helping to shape the future for these Haitians and they thank you whole heartedly for it.