“I feel happy again because of this prosthetic”

Jackson Louis has a new lease on life, thanks to his new prosthetic leg.

While Jackson Louis was attending college in Port-au-Prince in late 2016, he noticed a small mass developing on his left leg. Over the next several months, Jackson had two separate surgeries at two different hospitals near the capital to remove the mass. Unfortunately, the mass kept returning and enlarging each time. When doctors could not find a solution, Jackson went to yet another clinic in Gressier, just outside of his hometown of Carrefour. There, two clinicians diagnosed the mass as a tumor. However, the clinic did not have an operating room and referred Jackson to SBH for surgical care. Feeling increasingly ill and with the mass continuing to grow larger, Jackson set out on the long journey to Fond des Blancs.

When Jackson arrived at SBH in fall 2017, he met with then-Chief of Surgery Dr. Luther Ward. Shortly thereafter, Dr. Ward amputated Jackson’s leg. Following the surgery, Dr. Ward told Jackson that One Leg Up On Life (OLUOL), an organization that makes prosthetic limbs, would be at the hospital in the coming year to provide custom prosthetics to the people of southern Haiti. Dr. Ward took down Jackson’s name so he could be contacted to come for treatment when the group arrived.

In early November, Jackson journeyed back to SBH to have his prosthetic leg created by the talented OLUOL team. In addition, he received physical therapy to help him adjust to using his new limb. Jackson’s prosthetic leg has already dramatically changed his outlook on life. He said, “When I lost my leg there were many places that I was afraid to travel to. I was afraid to go to the market, I was really frustrated. Now, with my prosthetic leg, I feel like I can go to these places again. I feel great. I feel happy again because of this prosthetic.”

Jackson and the OLUOL team run through strengthening exercises.

Building muscle, balance, and stability is critical.

You are proving that we in Haiti have the same rights as all other people.

Jackson Louis

Jackson has returned to Carrefour with a new lease on life. Before he left Fond des Blancs, he spoke passionately about the message he would like to deliver to other amputees. He said, “I would like to let other people with amputated legs know that it is important to always think positively. Do not think negative. And don’t lose your mind thinking about how maybe you have lost your job, or think that your life is over. It is easy to think this way, I know, because this is what I thought. It was the people in my life who consoled me and supported me who helped me to lift my spirits.”

“I would like to tell the hospital and One Leg Up On Life: thank you—for all that you do. Continue helping people the way that you are. You are proving that we in Haiti have the same rights as all other people. And I know that God will give them more strength to help more people here. Haiti needs a group like this to help people who have lost limbs.”