Haiti Journal: Creating ‘Many Ripples’

By Katie Koren

I am a physical therapist who recently traveled to Haiti with a medical team from Rush University Medical Center. Let me introduce you to several of the Haitians I met:

A 76-year-old woman with cardiac problems and stroke history hobbled for 30 minutes with a stick so she could be seen by our medical team. When she walked, her posture was so kyphotic that her back was almost at a 90-degree angle with her legs. I asked her multiple times during her physical therapy session if she needed a break, and her only answer was no. She desperately wanted to learn to walk again.

Jackie is a 24-year-old interpreter who lost both of his parents in the earthquake and therefore can no longer afford to go to a university. He is saving his money by translating so one day he can go back to school.

Madame La Fleur managed an orphanage that was destroyed after the earthquake. She was relocated to a refugee tent camp with almost 100,000 other people. Her husband took her only biological child and relocated to the United States. She hasn’t heard from him since he fled. She is now living with 30 malnourished children in a refugee tent camp called Jerusalem. Continue reading