Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Photo by John Carroll
Rose came to the Haitian clinic last year. She was escorted by her nice uncle who knew her history.
They spent much of the day travelling from a little village in southern Haiti to get to the clinic.
Rose's uncle explained to me that during Haiti's earthquake Rose was trapped for four days with her dead father's body in the rubble of a building in Port-au-Prince. She was miraculously pulled out with little injury, but during her post extrication exam someone noticed that she had a loud heart murmur.
I examined her and discovered she had an AV canal. This is a congenital heart defect that allows abnormal mixing of oxygenated and unoxygenated blood and too much blood flows to the lungs and hurts the lungs.
Rose needed to be further evaluated to see if she was a candidate for surgery.
So she and her uncle went back to her village and waited.
Rose was recently examined in Haiti and accepted for heart surgery to be done in August--three months from now. But on Saturday morning, three days ago, her mother notified us that Rose's legs swelled with fluid and she died.
Rose's mother was grateful for all we had done.
However, in all honesty, we didn't do much. And Rose needed heart surgery years ago. Long before the earthquake that killed her father.
Rose was able to survive Haiti's vicious earthquake, but the thing that killed her was Haiti's poverty.