These barriers to care have dire consequences for patients. For many diabetics in Haiti, the disease can be a death sentence. And for some patients, like Yvan, unmanaged diabetes ravages the body. Yvan’s troubles began in his legs. He told us, “I was at home taking a bath and I noticed a small wound on my leg. After a couple of days, I noticed that the wound was not healing, but was growing bigger. I went back to the clinic near my home and they transferred me to St. Boniface Hospital to receive care.”
By now, Yvan had severe open wounds over his right thigh and calf. Driving over the rough roads caused him agonizing pain as the car jostled him back and forth. Political protests led to roadblocks throughout the area, stretching what should have been a two-hour drive into an hours-long ordeal. Finally, Yvan had to switch from car to motorcycle to make the last leg of the journey up the rocky, unpaved road to the hospital. The pain was unimaginable.
But relief was soon to come. Once at SBH, Yvan met with Dr. Turenne, who performed his surgery. Dr. Turenne was able to treat his wounds by removing the dead tissue and providing Yvan with medications to help him heal. He also helped Yvan understand how unmanaged diabetes causes wounds such as his, and how he can keep himself healthy once at home. In total, it took an entire month of rest and careful monitoring for Yvan to become healthy enough to return to Les Cayes. He continues to receive follow up care from our team to keep his diabetes under control and prevent future complications from arising again. He continues to receive follow-up care and insulin from SBH to keep his diabetes under control and prevent complications from arising again.
“I was in a lot of pain and I was very sick, and now I am no longer in pain. I am very happy to be feeling this way again,” Yvan told us. “I want to say thank you to the nursing staff at the hospital as well, as well as the clinicians who have supported me and helped me to heal during my time St. Boniface. I want to say thank you to God, all the doctors, and all the people that have helped me here at St. Boniface. I pray that the hospital can continue to give services like I received to the many patients that come to here each day.”