On November 30, 10-year-old Dave and his father Louis finally reunited with their family in Haiti.
A patient in PIH’s Right to Health Care program, Dave had been seriously injured during the January 12 earthquake. Buried beneath rubble for three days following the disaster, his right leg and lower right arm had to be amputated in Haiti. He received medical care aboard the US Navy Ship Comfort. However, it became clear that he needed additional care not available in his devastated homeland. So PIH brought him to Boston in April to receive additional treatment for nasal reconstruction, burn treatments, and to receive a prosthetic leg and arm. His care was provided by medical and rehabilitation teams at Shriner’s Hospital.
Today, Dave is using his prostheses with ease, and will meet regularly Zanmi Lasante’s rehabilitation team over the coming years.
He and his father were excited to return to the rest of their family in Haiti, as it had been more than eight months since Dave and his dad had seen them. “At first, Dave was a little sad to leave his new friends in Boston,” said Joan VanWassenhove, who accompanied the pair from the US to their new home in a town 45 minutes north of Port-au-Prince, which Zanmi Lasante found for the family. “But as we got closer and closer to Haiti and his mother and sister, he grew more and more excited.”
"He screamed “Mama!” when he saw her waiting for us as the car pulled up on the street, then he jumped out of the car and hugged her."
In mid-December, PIH/ZL staff helped to re-enroll Dave in school. He returned to his primary school on Thursday, December 16.
Watch a video of Dave learning to use his new prosthesis: