Friday, January 18, 2008

Haitians Equal Courage

Jhiny is 13 years old and was born with heart disease.

Jhiny, her mom, and brothers and sisters (all eight of them) live in a tiny one room cinder block house in Port-au-Prince.

They have no stove, running water, or toilet. They have occasional electricity when the State of Haiti turns it on.

Jhiny has gone to school for seven years with her sick heart. She is an excellent student.

Jhiny speaks and writes French and Haitian Creole.

Jhiny came to the United States without any family members or friends. She speaks very little English.

Jhiny is polite and industrious. Her host family in the United States love her.

Last night Jhiny spoke with confidence about her date today with the Bard-Parker knife.

Early this morning she crawled onto an operating table and went to sleep. Alone.

Her heart was fixed this morning by a very good pediatric heart surgeon and an experienced cardiac team of nurses and perfusionists.

Jhiny is off the bypass pump as I post.

Jhiny is courageous.

Jhiny is Haitian.

(Jhiny is in the blue dress holding her little sister.)


debbie said...

Jhiny is a very brave young lady. God bless her, her family and those wonderful people who are helping give her a future. My prayers are with them all.

John A. Carroll, M.D. said...

Jhiny was operated yesterday. Her congenital cardiac defects which were quite significant were repaired. A child from a resource rich country with the same heart problems would have been repaired as a baby.

She is in Pediatric Cardiovascular ICU this morning (Saturday) and doing well. The next couple of days will be important...

Malia'sMama said...

Jhiny, m'ap priye pou ou. Kenbe byen fò.

Michael Deibert said...

It would be gratifying if Haiti's political leaders (and those abroad) always kept the image of people like Jhiny foremost in their thoughts when making decisions concerning Haiti.

Anonymous said...

How is Jhiny doing? Please assure her there are people praying for her!

What does Kenbe byen fo mean?

John A. Carroll, M.D. said...

"kenbe byen fo" roughly translates to "keep going" or "to endure"...

Jhiny was released from the hospital today, is stable, and with her host family...

Thank you for asking.

John A. Carroll, M.D. said...


Jhiny IS Haiti. Her strength, courage, nobility, and beauty exemplify the Haitian people.

All decisions (by "big people") inside and outside of Haiti need to be made with one question in mind:

"How do WE improve the lives of ALL Haitians?"

That is a scary question because it includes the millions of invisible people in Jhiny's economic "class". But their poor (but noble) lives COULD be improved dramatically if the will was there.

Sorry to pontificate...working downstream allows me to see the floating debris slopping its way to the brown Port-au-Prince Bay. As you know, the amount of suffering at the base of the mountain in Haiti is unimaginable and inexcusable.