On January 12, 2010, a 7.0 magnitude earthquake decimated Haiti. Hundreds of thousands of people were killed. Homes, buildings, roads—everything was destroyed. The country was changed forever.
St. Boniface Hospital jumped into action immediately, rushing to provide care to the wounded. Nearly every hospital and medical clinic in and around the capital city of Port-au-Prince was destroyed. Few of the remaining healthcare facilities were able to treat survivors' unique medical needs, particularly those suffering from spinal cord injuries.
At the request of the United States government and with generous funding from USAID Haiti, St. Boniface Hospital constructed its Spinal Cord Injury Center. This one-of-a-kind facility provides comprehensive care for patients suffering from an SCI and was instrumental to saving lives after the disaster. Today, the center has provided comprehensive, holistic care to more than 200 patients with an SCI and over 1,000 patients in need of rehabilitative care. We have made modifications to nearly 100 homes and public buildings to make them more accessible to patients with assistive devices. And we have conducted dozens of community events to raise awareness about people with disabilities and reduce the prejudice they often face.
The unimaginable pain, loss, and anguish the people of Haiti faced after the earthquake still reverberates today. But so too do the feelings of hope, perseverance, community, and resilience—feelings that helped us to rebuild our homes, our lives, and our country. St. Boniface has grown exponentially since that devastating day, so we can deliver the highest quality care in any situation. We built an emergency care center; infectious disease center; state-of-the-art surgical center; the only NICU in southern Haiti; and the one of the largest and busiest maternity wards in the country. But we have only able to accomplish this by working together—with our partners, our supporters, and the people of Haiti.
Below, you'll find stories about the earthquake from our patients and staff, as well as stories from out Spinal Cord Injury Center.