Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Father Jean-Juste and Haitian Hearts

Several years ago when OSF-SFMC in Peoria refused to put a new pacemaker in Haitian Hearts patient Willie Fortune, Father Jean-Juste wrote a letter to the Peoria Journal Star Forum.

I really appreciated the time Father spent trying to intervene for one of Haiti's eight million people.

However, the Journal Star refused to print Father's letter because "the newspaper usually does not print letters written by people from outside of Peoria..."

Most likely the Journal Star did not want to embarrass OSF regarding OSF's medical negligence and abandonment of one of their patients.

This year it appears from this site that Father had his own problems as the medical industry tried to rid themselves of him too.

During his last hospitalization in Miami, in January of 2009, when the hospital insisted Father Jean Juste had to give up the hospital bed and leave without the medication he couldn't afford, even though he was almost at death's door unable to breathe with a respiratory problem, these women of Veye Yo, who sat with him, took turns sleeping in the hospital to comfort him, relayed this to be close to his very last words, said with some strength before he would fall into semi-consciousness. Jean Juste, a fighter to the end, told the Miami hospital that was refusing him medical care that he could not leave without three things - he asked for a wheelchair, medication for the pain and gas for his respiratory tank. The hospital refused because they said he owed too much money already and needed to pay at least half of "perhaps more than $60,000, I am not sure but he owed a lot" recalls Veronique Fleurime of Veye Yo. No Church official was there. Father Jean Juste had been fighting for human rights and equal treatment in Miami for Haitians since before 1979 when he headed Miami's Haitian Refugee Center. Ultimately it was "Ben" from Veye Yo who would hurry and apply for Medicaid to stop Jyeri from being thrown out of the hospital without any medication while so ill. Reportedly, the hospital's social worker, charged to do this task, never put the Medicaid papers through.

Meanwhile, before the application approval hit the computers, and asked to leave for lack of payment, a demoralized Father Jean Juste got out of the hospital bed, paced the floor and as the Veye Yo women and men at his bedside, stood in tears and grief, feeling utterly helpless, he said:

"Kounyè a espwa m fini. Si m paka jwen swèn medikal se pou m ale lakay mwen pou m'al tan lamò. (epi li frape pye a tè li di:) Gade sa Neg d'Ayiti fè mwen!" - "My hope is gone now. If I can't get medical care I'm being sent home to die. (stamping his foot he ends with emphasis on these words:) Look at what Haiti (Haiti's Oligarchy, tyrants) did to me!" Ezili Danto

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