Saturday, February 06, 2010

Bishop Jenky, Haitian Children, and the Earthquake

Dear Bishop Jenky,

The Catholic laity in the Catholic Diocese of Peoria recently raised tens of thousands of dollars for Catholic Relief Services (CRS) for the Haitian earthquake victims.

Several days ago a letter was written by Catholic Relief Services, Catholic Charities, and the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops.

I am sure you would have seen this letter that attempted to ensure that vulnerable Haitian children and orphans are protected and taken care of in an expeditious and ethical fashion.

A significant bullet point in the letter states:

"Ensure that children in need of urgent medical care are able to access life saving
services as soon as possible, whether in Haiti or in another country. Whenever
possible, these children should be accompanied by a parent or guardian if one is

Bishop Jenky, as you know, Haitian Hearts in Peoria has been doing this for over 15 years.

In fact right now we have children in Haiti that have survived the earthquake and need heart surgery that they cannot obtain in Haiti.

Will you help us find a medical center(s) in the United States to accept these children?

Also, Haitian Hearts has two young adult patients, Jenny and Henri, that were operated at OSF-SFMC in Peoria ten years ago. Both are homeless in the streets of Port-au-Prince now and both need repeat heart surgery. Unfortunately, both have been rejected by OSF-SFMC and Jenny and Henri have not been allowed to return to OSF-SFMC.

Will you intercede at OSF-SFMC on their behalf? Other medical centers do not want to accept them for a variety of reasons. And OSF-SFMC really needs your guidance now so they can follow their mission philosophy and never turn any one away. (Haitian Hearts will obtain their passports, visas, and pay for their travel to and from the United States. We will bring them to the United States and they will stay with the same host families in Peoria that they lived with ten years ago. We will also provide their medication post operatively in Haiti for the rest of their lives.)

Bishop Jenky, please do what is right for the Haitian children and for Jenny and Henri. I am sure that Catholic Relief Services would support you in this humanitarian effort.

Thank you.

John Carroll, M.D.

(Jenny is pictured above.)

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