To those of you who have been following our work in the last few years, you'll know that we've been seeking to complete a new Maternity Unit for the people of North Haiti. The good news is, that thanks to your help two of these buildings have been completed in the last few months and are now ready for action!
However, at the moment they are being used for a slightly different purpose than maternity care, through they are still offering new life. The news of the earthquake disaster that struck Haiti may have now faded from your televisions and papers, yet the urgent need still remains! Some of the most desperate victims who have been left forgotten are those who suffered severe spinal injuries, leaving many paralysed.
Before the earthquake spinal care in Haiti was non-existent, with most patients with spinal injuries being left to die. After the earthquake vast numbers of individuals were requiring urgent long term rehab support to get them through their devastating injuries. The Haiti Hospital Appeal subsequently responded to the need by allowing our finished maternity unit to house 20 paraplegic victims from the earthquake. This is a short term measure, as we still hope that these buildings will be used for their intended purpose in the next few months.
However, the strange reality is that though this new unit is not seeing new life born through babies, it is seeing life born in adults. Thanks to your support getting these buildings completed, we have seen individuals learn to walk again, others speak for the first time in months after the earthquake. People's lives are being re-built; many who have lost everything. One of our patients lost almost all her family including her husband, children and sisters. Another was only re-united for the first time yesterday with her husband and child who thought their beloved mother and wife had died. Lives and families are being transformed and saved, as many of these patients would have died without your help in providing this unit! Yesterday I also had the privilege of dropping our first patient home. She arrived after the earthquake unable to even sit up, completely bed bound. She left yesterday walking out the ward proudly as a woman of new life, with a gleaming smile upon her face when we dropped her home.
I would ask from the bottom of my heart that you continue to remember this desperate nation in their time of healing. The process for many is long and painful. Haiti Hospital Appeal have committed to doing all we can to see these patients supported, but we need your help! We're currently supporting 17 victims with severe spinal injuries, including providing care for their displaced family members. We are actively looking into building a specific spinal unit so our maternity care can get up and running soon. Hopefully the next time we write we'll have news of our first baby born at the unit you've helped build!
Thanks for your continued heart for our work. If you'd like to continue supporting us please visit www.haitihospitalappeal.org, where you can get more regular up to date information!