Everyday there is more progress with the spinal injury patients who reside in
what will eventually be the maternity ward in our hospital. I would like to
share with you the story of Samuel, one of the heroic survivors of the
earthquake who we care for. Samuel is a quadriplegic, perhaps one of the worst
injured victims of the earthquake. After the earthquake he was completely
paralysed, but has now gained some movement in his arms again. Despite the
tragic fate that seemed to await him, Samuel now sits up, and with a little help
pushes himself around the ward at short intervals when he can gather the
strength. Whilst we begin to gradually transform the ward so it can be used for
its originally purpose of maternity care, the service it is providing at the
moment is an amazing and inspiring one.
Casualties with spinal injuries are uncared for in much of Haiti and this project brings
hope and life to those who previously would have had no expectations for a future.
A rehab unit is in planning to care for these patients in the long term so that the maternity
and infant unit can be used for the purpose originally intended. A nurse working in
the ward said:
‘Before the earthquake we had no rehabilitation centre in Haiti. It costs a lot
of money, but every time someone gives their support it helps our people here.
It is very important to have a rehabilitation centre. The people here faced
death and no normal life. Because of this hospital they have strength, and some
are discharged and have hope.’
As well as the progress in the lives of these patients, progress has been made
in the long term aim to provide better health care for women and children, this
week building work commenced on the final stages of the infant unit which will
hopefully be finished within a matter of months. Plans for the maternity project
are evolving, including the equipping of traditional birth attendants in the city
of Cap Haitien with mobile phones for when they need advice and help.
Yesterday our health clinic was packed with mothers and their children as they
waited for vaccinations, many mothers had two or three young children with them
and your support is going to help fund an infant unit to care for these children
in the future and other children like them around Cap Haitien.
On the six month anniversary of the tragic earthquake on January 12th we are
launching a new campaign called 'We Won't Forget' on our main web site:
Despite the promises of many, Haiti has already been forgotten it would seem by
the majority of the world. We're making a stand this anniversary and calling
all our supporters to declare that Haiti isn't forgotten! For those who remain
skeptical about what aid actually does, I would encourage you to visit our new
site that was launched a few weeks ago. It's packed full of stories and news
about what you've achieved! As a small grass root NGO in Haiti you have made a
difference through us. Spinal victims saved, tones of aid distributed,
emergency clinic set up. Yet, there is still so much to do. As most of the world moves
on and forget, we'd ask that today you don't.
Please take two minutes and visit our 'We Won't Forget' campaign! Thanks again
for all your help at this difficult time and we look forward to working with you
in helping to rebuild Haiti in the coming months.
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