Saturday, January 16, 2010

Heurese Survives Again!

The saga of survivability of a young Haitian woman continues.

Heurese is a 30 year old Haitian woman who Haitian Hearts brought to the United States for heart surgery 10 years ago. She survived surgery at OSF-SFMC in Peoria.

Heurese returned to Haiti and Haitian Hearts followed her there with medical exams, provided her with medication, and did echocardiograms on her heart over the years.

In 2008 Heurese became sick again. Her aortic valve became leaky and she developed a hole near her ventricular septal defect repair. She went into congestive heart failure.

Thinking that she was going to die, she gave away her two young children to family members living in southern Haiti and Heurese remained in her hovel in Carrefour with her younger brother Jean-Louis. Carrefour is a district right outside of Port-au-Prince with 400,000 people living on top of each other.

Four severe tropical storms battered Haiti during August of 2008 and Heurese's chance at survival went down. She ran out of food too.

Haitian gangs were preying on people in Carrefour and UN soldiers were also using young Haitian women as play things.

I begged OSF-SFMC to reaccept her for heart surgery. OSF did not respond...apparently the Sister's mission does not include young and poor Haitian women living in a dangerous slum dying of heart failure.

Then a miracle happened. Heurese was accepted by Cleveland Clinic and we moved her out of Carrefour to a safe part in Port-au-Prince for one month where she received two hot meals per day. And she was safe from the gangs and the UN.

Her passport was renewed and we applied for a visa for her to travel to Cleveland for heart surgery. The visa was granted in November, 2008.

We brought her to the US once again and Heurese underwent successful heart surgery at Cleveland Clinic in December, 2008. She recovered nicely.

During her stay in the United States, Peoria OSF's attorney Douglass Marshall contacted the United States Consulate in Haiti requesting information on Heurese. This confidential information was not given to him by the Consulate.

Heurese returned to Haiti in 2009 and we have kept in contact with her until Tuesday of this week, the day the earthquake destroyed Heurese's home in Carrefour.

Early this morning Heurese called a friend of ours who let us know Heurese was alive and Heurese was heading back to her home town of Bainet on Haiti's southern coast to be reuinted with her children and mother.

Heurese is remarkable. Heurese is a survivor.

The world is seeing the courage of the Haitian people now. Haitian Hearts has seen the courage of the Haitian people for many years. Heurese is just one example.

Napoleon and his army never had a chance against the Haitian slaves in the late 1700's. He just didn't know it.


Malia'sMama said...

John, are you IN haiti right now? I am in such turmoil wanting to DO more than just donate, or fundraise (and ma doing both). i want to BE there. I am angry that those who have come in to help, run scared at the first sign that things are getting dicey- they do not understand the people, do not know the language, do not know HAITI. I would love to see everyone who actually does, and would NOT run, there, instead, myself included... And then i think of my own 3 year old and wonder if I am being reckless with HER future if I go, you know?
Anyway, this is all so sad, crazy, amazing, and WRONG. I have no idea how so many in haiti continue to sing in PRAISE when i am struggling to understand WHY safe in my home.
God bless, John.

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


I couldn't agree more.

Just sit tighht, and let the dust settle.

There will be much work to be done over the next decade. Your daughter needs you right now.

Kembe fem.