Partners in Health Releases 2010 Annual Report

  • Posted on: 19 November 2010
  • By: Bryan Schaaf
News: 

Partners in Health (PIH) is one of Haiti’s most important health oriented non governmental organizations, with a model based more on solidarity and human rights than on charity.  In addition to its development activities, PIH has at times been called on to be a humanitarian responder such as during both Gonaives floods and most recently the earthquake.  PIH also operates in Rwanda, Burundi, Lesotho, Russia, and numerous other countries.  Below are highlights from the PIH 2010 Annual Report, which include construction of the largest public hospital outside of Port au Prince, in the city of Mirebalais.

 

Provided emergency care for earthquake victims: In the first hours after the earthquake, Zanmi Lasante took immediate action to provide emergency medical care to earthquake victims both in Port-au-Prince and at our facilities in the Central Plateau and Lower Artibonite. ZL medical and engineering staff arrived at the badly damaged general hospital in Port-au-Prince just after the quake, where they helped restore electricity, deployed volunteer surgical teams and urgently needed supplies, and worked with partners to get 12 operating rooms up and running around the clock. As thousands of injured people fled the ruined capital, ZL opened up new emergency wards and brought in volunteer orthopedic teams to help perform emergency surgeries at four of our largest facilities in central Haiti. In the first four weeks after the earthquake, these facilities delivered life-saving medical care to 2,961 patients with earthquake-related injuries.

 

Provided comprehensive primary care for displaced communities: Just two weeks after the earthquake, ZL set up health clinics to serve over 100,000 displaced people living in four spontaneous settlement camps around Port-au-Prince. ZL's clinics provide comprehensive primary health care and social support services — including maternal and child health, reproductive care, HIV and TB testing, mental health care, and malnutrition treatment — to roughly 10,000 people each week. Each clinic is staffed by a team of Haitian physicians, nurses, psychologists, pharmacists, and lab technicians. ZL also trained and hired local residents to serve as community health workers at each location, improving outreach into the settlements and providing jobs and income.

 

Strengthened specialized clinical services to meet the needs of earthquake survivors: Many of the more than 300,000 people wounded by the earthquake suffered crush wounds, compound fractures, spinal injuries and other severe injuries that will require ongoing and specialized rehabilitation. Tens of thousands more were scarred emotionally by the loss of family members and friends, homes and livelihoods. To meet their needs, ZL more than doubled the size of our rehabilitative medicine and mental health teams. By the end of June, the physical therapy team had distributed 400 wheelchairs and was providing care to 50 people with amputations. The mental health and psychosocial support team had offered more than 4,200 support services in spontaneous settlements, including psycho-education, counseling, and individual and group therapy.

 

Broke ground for a new national teaching hospital: In partnership with the Haitian Ministry of Health, PIH/ZL is building a world-class, 320-bed teaching hospital in Mirebalais. The new hospital will train the next generation of Haitian doctors, nurses, and lab technicians, equipping them to take on the challenges of rebuilding and strengthening the Haitian health care system. When its doors open in late 2011, the Mirebalais hospital will be Haiti's largest public hospital outside Port-au-Prince. It will house clinical facilities not currently available in Haiti, including an intensive care unit and six operating rooms, and will contribute to the national goal of decentralizing services, including both clinical care and education for health professionals.

 

Took action to prevent and treat cervical cancer: ZL partnered with the Ministry of Health (MOH) to pilot the country's first vaccination project for human papillomavirus - the primary cause of cervical cancer, which is one of the leading causes of female deaths in Haiti. Despite disruption from the earthquake, thousands of girls received each of the three doses required for the vaccine to be effective. ZL is also incorporating cervical cancer screenings into routine checkups, ensuring that cases can be diagnosed and treated at an early stage. And ZL established a partnership with the Oncological Treatment Center in the Dominican Republic, allowing patients with advanced cervical cancer access to treatment not available in Haiti.

 

Expanded access to HIV/AIDS antiretroviral therapy (ART) medications: ZL expanded services to 800 HIV-positive patients at a Ministry of Health health center in Verrettes, a town two hours north of Port-au-Prince. With this expansion, ZL is now providing ART to over 5,600 patients across our catchment area and monitoring an additional 16,374, an increase of almost 20 percent. In order to meet patient needs, ZL trained and hired local accompagnateurs, or community health workers, to offer emotional and social support to HIV patients, while helping them adhere to their ART regimens.

 

Improved surgical capacity and maternal health infrastructure: ZL opened a new operating room at the hospital in Petite Riviere de l'Artibonite, allowing staff to perform needed gynecological surgeries. Additionally, the Sante Fanm (women's health) clinic in Lascahobas renovated its facilities, adding a full operating suite with six recovery beds. This renovation allowed ninety-two Cesarean sections to be performed for women with high-risk pregnancies. Infrastructure projects like these improve maternal health care and offer quality medical options to Haiti's poorest women.

 

Improved infrastructure to increase access to care: ZL completed two major infrastructure projects in 2010 that will make the health center in Boucan Carre more accessible and more sustainable. With help from Digicel (the largest telecommunications provider in the Caribbean), Haiti's Ministry of Public Works, the UN, and the Boucan Carre community, a bridge was finally constructed across the Fonlanfe (Hell's Deep), a river that flooded frequently, making it impossible for patients to get medical care in an emergency. The health center in Boucan Carre also has a new and reliable source of electricity, thanks to a solar-power system provided by a partnership with Good Energies and the Solar Electric Light Fund (SELF). In the first month after it was installed, the hospital reduced its use of diesel fuel from 11 barrels to four.

 

Trained and equipped farmers to improve production and food security: To meet the immediate needs after the earthquake, Zanmi Agrikol - ZL's agricultural program - planted and harvested an extra crop of fast-growing corn to alleviate hunger among displaced families and trained 1,000 vulnerable families in innovative and effective agricultural techniques. Additionally, ZA is employing 100 new farmers to increase production of our ready-to-use therapeutic food, Nourimanba, which will be given to 7,500 children suffering from acute malnutrition over the next year.

Comments

Incorrect ORS Mixing Instructions on Posters in Haiti
.
Posters showing incorrect instructions for making an oral rehydration solution using salt, sugar and water are being widely distributed by the Ministry of Public Health and other organizations in Haiti.
.
Half (1/2) teaspoon of Salt and Six (6) teaspoons of Sugar should be dissolved in 1 Litre of water. (Not 1 Gallon of water as the poster says) For further clarification, please see: http://factsforlifeglobal.org/07/5.html
.
The mixture, using the proportions that are suggested in the poster, would be too weak to do much good in rehydrating a dehydrated child.
.
The following actions need to be taken immediately:
.
1. The current posters need to be withdrawn and replaced.
.
2. A communications campaign to inform everybody locally that the old poster had incorrect information and they should use 1 Litre and not 1 Gallon.
.
Your help is requested to inform everybody in Haiti of the correct way to make this life-saving solution.
.
Thank you.

A national teaching hospital: Nowhere is PIH/ZL's commitment to building back better more evident than in the construction of a 180,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art teaching hospital in Mirebalais, a city approximately 35 miles north of Port-au-Prince. The construction of this new hospital will bring to bear all that Partners In Health and Zanmi Lasante have learned over the past 25 years about hospital design that serves health care delivery, provides a dignified setting for patients in very poor settings, and allows health professionals to train and develop new skills. Workers broke ground on the new facility in July, and the cornerstone of the facility was laid in September. When completed it will house 320 beds, serve an estimated 450-500 patients a day, and help to train Haiti's next generation of doctors, nurses and medical workers. Read more about the new hospital in Mirebalais.
.
Teaching the next generation of Haitian doctors: Zanmi Lasante, PIH's sister organization in Haiti, recently launched a program that addresses two top priorities: training the next generation of Haitian health professionals, and addressing a cholera epidemic that by December 9 had killed more than 2,300 patients since it broke out in mid-October. Beginning in late November, six Haitian medical students were deployed to assist PIH/Zanmi Lasante (ZL) medical staff dealing with the cholera outbreak in the country's Central Plateau and Lower Artibonite departments. They are now helping manage the daily influx of new cholera patients--about 300 each day--across the organization's medical clinics and cholera treatment centers.
.
In addition to helping to control the epidemic, these young clinicians are also getting valuable training for performing their jobs in post-earthquake Haiti. "We decided to start this program a few months after the earthquake," says ZL's Dr. Charles-Patrick Almazor. The program was established in partnership with the medical school at l'Universite d'Etat d'Haiti, Haiti's national university. "All the senior [ZL] medical leaders involved felt it was important to help and to give back what we have learned, not only because we were once students from l'Universite d'Etat d'Haiti ourselves but also because we thought it is part of our job to share our model with future generations."
.
Fighting a cholera epidemic: Zanmi Lasante has been providing treatment around the clock for cholera victims since the epidemic first broke out in October. Teams have fanned out across the Lower Artibonite and Central Plateau to distribute oral rehydration, clean water, and an education campaign to teach communities how to prevent the spread of the disease. Several special facilities have also been set up specifically for treating cholera cases. Strategically located posts in rural areas deliver oral rehydration to patients who may not otherwise make the journey to a medical facility. At medical facilities, cholera treatment units care for patients away from the general hospital population, to prevent transmission. Watch a video from the cholera treatment center in Mirebalais.
.
A crop of cabbage, "the meat of the peasants," is flourishing in central Haiti. Feeding those most in need: The first tiny green shoots of cabbage leaves caused quite a stir in Bois Joli, a rural farming community in the mountains of central Haiti. "People are used to eating cabbage and buying it in the market, but they aren't used to growing it themselves," explained Stenio Louis-Jeune, an agronomist with Zanmi Agrikol (ZA), the agricultural arm of PIH's Haitian sister project Zanmi Lasante. Following the January earthquake, Stenio and his colleagues quickly began a program to help local farmers produce more food to help feed earthquake-affected communities at risk of malnutrition. Today, the program supports over two dozen kombits--groups of roughly 50 local families working together to farm land--by supplying seeds, tools, technical assistance, and training. About 1,000 families are currently involved. "The biggest result we've had is getting people to work together," said Stenio. "It's showing everyone how to work together at a community level to fight poverty and malnutrition."

1/7/2011
.
Partners In Health (PIH) and Abbott (NYSE: ABT) and its philanthropic foundation, the Abbott Fund, today announced a partnership to empower Haitians to create local solutions to the longstanding problem of severe malnutrition in Haiti. Together, PIH and Abbott plan to build a nutritional food production facility that will allow Haitians to produce locally-sourced, high-quality nutritious food products. The initiative also aims to empower local communities by creating local markets, supporting local farms and promoting economic development. The total value of this multi-year initiative is estimated at more than $6.5 million, including contributions from Abbott and the Abbott Fund, and the estimated value of ongoing expert consulting provided by Abbott employees.
.
"This ambitious partnership between PIH, Abbott and the Abbott Fund will help to address severe malnutrition in Haiti, while also serving as an example of how partnerships can help to provide economic empowerment for local communities," said Paul Farmer, co-founder of PIH. "PIH and Abbott experts are working shoulder to shoulder with Haitian farmers and community health workers to create local, sustainable solutions to treat malnutrition in children. By sharing the collective expertise and resources of business, non-profit organizations and civil society, we can help the people of Haiti build back better."
.
The new PIH nutritional production facility will be located near PIH's main hospital in Cange in Haiti's central plateau region. The facility initially will be focused on producing Nourimanba, PIH's nutritious, peanut-based, ready-to-use therapeutic food product, to treat severe childhood malnutrition. In the future, the new facility also could empower Haitians to develop and sell non-medical nutritional foods like peanut butter to support the continued production and free distribution of Nourimanba by PIH. The facility, which is expected to break ground in mid-2011 and begin operations in early 2012, will be equipped with rugged, low-maintenance equipment suited to operations in Haiti.
.
The new facility will be constructed by local workers. Abbott experts in nutrition science, engineering, quality and manufacturing will join PIH staff in supporting all aspects of the project, including design and construction of the facility, product quality and safety, and expansion of production capabilities. When completed, the facility will be able to employ up to 60 Haitians to handle production. The initiative also will help expand agricultural development in the region by working with hundreds of local farmers to source peanuts, the main ingredient in Nourimanba. PIH and Abbott experts will conduct extensive training to build local capabilities and develop the skills of local workers to ensure long-term sustainability.
.
Haiti is the Western Hemisphere's poorest country, which has resulted in pervasive malnutrition. Even prior to the earthquake in January 2010, one in three Haitian children under the age of five suffered from malnutrition. Today, thousands more are at risk of malnutrition as a result of the devastation from the earthquake. Malnourished children are five-to-eight times more likely to die from diseases such as diarrhea, pneumonia and measles than are well-nourished children. Nourimanba is a ready-to-use therapeutic food (RUTF) produced by Partners In Health. The World Health Organization recommends RUTFs for the treatment of severe acute malnutrition. Nourimanba is a high-calorie, high-protein, fortified peanut-based paste that is ready to eat by the patient and does not require mixing with water or refrigeration. RUTFs like Nourimanba can be given to children at home rather than in a hospital, avoiding the cost and complexity of in-patient treatment.
.
Going beyond traditional philanthropy, the PIH-Abbott partnership combines the unique expertise and resources of a non-profit organization and a for-profit business to empower local communities. The partnership is strongly focused on long-term sustainability, by empowering local communities and creating sustainable, market-based solutions through the future development and sale of locally appropriate, non-medical nutrition products by PIH.
.
"Severe childhood malnutrition is a complex problem in Haiti that demands innovative, local solutions," said Katherine Pickus, vice president, the Abbott Fund, and divisional vice president, Global Citizenship and Policy, Abbott. "As a longstanding leader in strengthening local communities in Haiti, Partners in Health has demonstrated a strong commitment to pioneering new approaches. Abbott and the Abbott Fund look forward to working together with Partners In Health to build a new nutrition production facility, train local staff and empower local communities to develop long-term solutions to malnutrition in Haiti." The new initiative in Haiti is an extension of an ongoing partnership between PIH, Abbott and the Abbott Fund to expand access to health care in developing countries. Projects are addressing critical community needs in Haiti and countries in Africa, including establishing a women's health clinic in Lascahobas, Haiti, and building a rural hospital in Lisungwi, Malawi.
.
The new initiative in Haiti also builds on Abbott's existing philanthropic partnerships to expand access to health care in Haiti. Since 2007, Abbott and the Abbott Fund have provided more than $48 million in grants and product donations to help address health needs in Haiti, including maternal and child health, diabetes, HIV/AIDS and malnutrition. In addition, Abbott and the Abbott Fund provided more than $6 million to support relief efforts following the devastating earthquake in January 2010. Most recently, Abbott has provided grant funding and donations through trusted humanitarian partners to help address the cholera outbreak in central Haiti.
.
About Partners In Health: Partners In Health (PIH) works in 12 countries around the world to provide quality health care to people and communities devastated by joint burdens of poverty and disease. PIH has been providing vital health care services in Haiti for more than 20 years and is the largest health care provider in the country, working with the Haitian Ministry of Health to deliver comprehensive health care services to a catchment area of 1.2 million across the Central Plateau and the Lower Artibonite Valley. PIH had 4,400 staff in Haiti before the January 12 earthquake. Visit www.pih.org for more information.
.
About Abbott and the Abbott Fund: Abbott is a global, broad-based health care company devoted to the discovery, development, manufacturing and marketing of pharmaceuticals and medical products, including nutritionals, devices and diagnostics. The company employs nearly 90,000 people and markets its products in more than 130 countries. Abbott's news releases and other information are available on the company's website at http://www.abbott.com. The Abbott Fund is a philanthropic foundation established by Abbott in 1951. The Abbott Fund's mission is to create healthier global communities by investing in creative ideas that promote science, expand access to health care and strengthen communities worldwide. For more information on the Abbott Fund, visit http://www.abbottfund.org.

On February 11, 2011 Zanmi Lasante (ZL) – Partners In Health’s (PIH) sister organization in Haiti--celebrated the expansion of its first HIV program in the Dominican Republic (DR). The program based at the Rosa Duarte Hospital in Elias Piña will serve hundreds of Haitians and Dominicans living and working in the border town, and marks a major step towards strengthening health systems in the DR. Alongside members of the Elias Piña community, officials from the Dominican Republic’s Ministry of Health, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and PIH/ZL celebrated the landmark event with music, dancing and speeches from the project’s supporters. Following the ceremony, guests were invited to visit the hospital for a guided tour of the medical facility and services offered onsite. This project is the culmination of a years-long effort. “Since 2004, we've tried to build a partnership with the Dominican health authorities to assure that the Haitian migrant patients--especially those with HIV and tuberculosis--can find a facility that delivers PIH’s approach to care,” says Dr. Ralph Ternier, director of Community Health. Ternier has been a driving force behind the project right from the beginning, starting when he was the director of PIH/ZL’s program at Hôpital de la Nativité in the Haitian border town of Belladère.
.
Haitian economic migrants in the DR are a vulnerable patient population, said Ternier. These communities are made up of migrant farm workers who face social, cultural, and economic biases that make it difficult to access health care. Furthermore, their migrant status creates barriers for patients to receive continuing medical care, particularly for diseases requiring intensive treatment regimens, such as HIV/AIDS. PIH/ZL signed a grant contract with the USAID in Santo Domingo, DR, to reinforce HIV services, from prevention to care, for the inhabitants of Elias Piña as well as the border’s transient population. Not only does the project seek to strengthen the existing health care systems in the DR, but it will also train and mobilize more than 100 community health workers to provide treatment and social support to HIV patients in their homes.
.
The ZL program took on new urgency after the earthquake when thousands of Haitians fled to the DR in search of medical care, housing, and food. People who were receiving treatment for HIV, TB, and MDR-TB in Haiti were forced to abandon their treatments, not only endangering their own health, but also potentially compounding the risk to public health if disruptions in treatment enabled their diseases to become drug-resistant. Since then, PIH/ZL has been working with Community Service Alliance, the Ministry of Health in the Dominican Republic, and USAID-DR to organize this expansion. Many of the Haitian and Dominican staff members participating in this cross-border project have been working in the region for years, if not decades. Ternier says that ZL programs in the DR will build on their efforts and lessons learned during ZL’s 25 years in Haiti, and on its successful HIV/AIDS treatment program.
.
ZL currently provides support and antiretroviral drug therapies (ART)--medications for the treatment of infection by retroviruses related to HIV--to roughly 5,000 patients in Haiti, and monitors 14,000 patients who have tested positive for HIV, but who are healthy enough to not be on an ART regimen. This expansion will increase ZL’s catchment area by 60,000 people, as well as enhance the collaboration between Hôpital de la Nativité in Belladère, Haiti, with Hospital Rosa Duarte. ZL staff will optimize quality of life for HIV-infected patients and their families, and prevent the transmission of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Voluntary HIV counseling and testing will be offered, and women-specific health care--including a program to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV--will be provided.
.
As with all PIH programs, success in the DR will rely largely on the efforts of accompagnateurs--men and women from the local community who are trained and employed by PIH/ZL as community health workers. Accompagnateurs work with patients in their communities to ensure that that they are able to take their medications as prescribed, and connect patients to social and economic services and support. They are a pivotal force in raising awareness of the existence and success of HIV treatment and care in these communities. “The launch of the ZL project in the Dominican Republic is a huge victory on an international, political and medical level,” says Haitian project director in Elias Pina, Dr. Jennifer Severe. “The fruitful collaboration between Haitians and Dominicans involved in this project will ensure that the Dominican Republic’s Ministry of Health will see PIH as a strong and long-term partner in health care.”

Drs. Regan Marsh, Luther Ward and Jooby Bien-Aime load a patient with a broken neck into an ambulance. He was taken to Port-au-Prince to be placed in a halo collar, a brace that helps the neck heal.
What does it take to fix a broken neck? Staff at University Hospital in Mirebalais, Haiti, had to learn when two patients with that same injury arrived at the emergency room days apart. One was a 48-year-old farmer who fell out of a tree while he was cutting a branch to sell as firewood. The other was a high school senior who broke his neck in a traffic accident when the brakes of his bus gave out on the winding highway from Mirebalais to Port-au-Prince.
.
A broken neck—in this case, a fracture of the second vertebrae of the cervical spine—is a dangerous injury. If not handled, diagnosed, and treated properly, it can result in permanent paralysis—a grim fate especially in a poor country like Haiti, where disabilities sink families even deeper in poverty. So when Marcenne Desanm, the first patient, showed up at the emergency room entrance of the hospital, clinicians handled his neck with care. They were able to quickly diagnose the injury with the CT scanner at the hospital, which showed the fracture in the spine. Then they realized they would need a device called a halo collar to heal the injury. A halo collar is a type of brace that holds the neck still, allowing the fracture to heal. A metal band runs around the head like a halo and screws into the scull. The metal band then connects to a brace around the torso and waist to keep the neck from bending or turning. “It’s not the most pleasant experience to be in a halo collar,” said Dr. Luther Ward, a Paul Farmer global surgery fellow who is training Haitian surgical residents at University Hospital. “But it’s a matter of being permanently disabled compared to being able to be back in society.”
.
But the team didn’t have a halo collar. So they made Desanm comfortable as he waited, and called Boston, where a PIH-affiliated surgeon at Boston Children’s Hospital arranged for two halo collars, a donation from the manufacturer, to be sent to Haiti with the help of PIH Boston’s procurement team. “For 14 days, I told Desanm not to move—just lie on his back and wait—because we were searching for the halo collar for him,” said Dr. Regan Marsh, director of the emergency department at University Hospital and attending physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. “He never complained and is incredibly strong and kind.” It was a lucky coincidence that they managed to send two, because by the time the collars arrived, so too had the second patient, Guerrier Wilcliphe, 21. The surgical team still needed help to place the collars. In the United States, this procedure is done by a neurosurgeon, and the hospital’s surgery team didn't have that skill set. So the team reached out to a partner institution, Port-au-Prince’s Hospital Bernard Mevs, operated in conjunction with Project Medishare.
.
A Haitian neurosurgeon at Bernard Mevs was available to help, and so Ward and another surgical fellow, Dr. Jacky Fils, who is Haitian-American, traveled with the two patients to Port-au-Prince. The neurosurgeon there taught them how to properly place the collars. The surgical team and the patients returned to Mirebalais, where the patients received follow-up care and then were discharged home. Guerrier Wilcliphe, 21, broke his neck in a bus crash in Haiti. After three months in a brace called a halo collar, he should be able to resume living as before. Jacky Fils/Partners In Health Desanm and Wilcliphe will continue receiving follow-up care in Mirebalais over three months, at which point doctors hope their fractures will be healed, the collars removed, and they can resume living normally. Desanm’s fracture is more complicated, and he may require further care. “God put me here with these doctors,” Desanm said. “I hope to return to work after the collar is taken off, but I will follow whatever instructions the doctors give me. I have so much hope in life now. I just hope that I will be able to continue working so that I can provide for my family.”
.
The halo collars can be reused, so future similar injuries can also be treated, with the new skills of the University Hospital surgical team, the right equipment, and a team of specialists to handle complex cases. “This is the amazing thing about this hospital,” Ward said. “You have to have a CT scanner to make the diagnosis. You have to have an ER that is keen enough to handle these patients. The fact that we can diagnose the problem opens up a whole new world, because we can treat the injury. Putting on the halo collar is probably the smallest part of the whole thing.” Desanm and Wilcliphe told their stories to hospital staff. Below is what happened in their own words, translated from Haitian Creole.
.
Guerrier Wilcliphe, 21, from Mirebalais
.
I was in a tap-tap on the way to Port-au-Prince, about 25 minutes from Mirebalais on Route Nationale 3, when the brakes stopped working. The car flipped on its side and during the crash I broke my neck. An ambulance arrived and brought me to the emergency room at University Hospital in Mirebalais. I was in the ER from Thursday to Monday. On Monday afternoon I went down to Port-au-Prince in an ambulance with Dr. Luther Ward and Dr. Jacky. They put the collar on me and I returned to HUM the same day. I was able to return to my house the next day. Now I sometimes get headaches on my right forehead but overall I don't have too much pain. I come for a consultation once a month and will take the collar off after three months, or earlier, if Dr. Luther says it is okay. You never expect an accident like that to happen. I found really good care here, and I think this collar will help me return to the way I was before the accident. I'm in my last year of high school and hoping to go to university next year. I also love to play soccer and am hoping that one day I'll be able to play again.
.
Marcenne Desanm, 48, from Savanette Cabral
.
I am a farmer who lives in Savanette Cabral. I have a wife and eight kids—seven are in primary school and one is in secondary school. I grow grain, corn, and plantains, and sell wood. The accident occurred when I climbed a tree to cut off a branch to sell the wood. I stood on a lower branch and was sawing a branch above me. When the branch broke, it didn't fall on the ground; instead, it fell on me and crushed me in between the two branches. My stomach was bleeding and I was completely stuck. My wife saw me and cried for help; my neighbors then rushed to my assistance. They climbed the tree and pulled the branch off of me, but when they did this I fell backward onto the ground and broke my neck. I lost consciousness. I live a two-hour walk from the closest road, so my neighbors had to put me on a stretcher and carry me to the road where the ambulance could meet them. I came to HUM and spent 13 days in the emergency room. They put a catheter in me and took care of my wounds where the branch had crushed me. I went down to Bernard Mevs with Luther and Jacky and had the collar placed on my neck. I came back to the hospital and stayed for four more days. For the next few months while I am recovering I am renting a house in Cange, because my house in Savanette is too far from the road for me to walk to return for consultations. An ambulance now comes to pick me up at my rented house whenever I have an appointment and takes me home afterward. Two of my kids and my wife are staying with me too. They took great care of me from the moment I arrived. God put me here with these doctors. I don't feel too bad anymore. I used to have problems sleeping, but now I just sleep sitting up or leaning on my hand, and it doesn't feel too bad. I can also now stand up from a chair by myself! I hope to return to work after the collar is taken off, but I will follow whatever instructions the doctors give me. I have so much hope in life now. I just hope that I will be able to continue working so that I can provide for my family.

Add new comment

Filtered HTML

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.