For the next eight months, Jean was confined to bed rest as he began receiving treatment for Potts Disease—a form of tuberculosis that affects the vertebrae and can lead to immobilization of the spine. Although he knew he faced a long road to recovery, Jean’s spirit was immediately lifted. He said, “When I arrived, I felt like I was no longer alone … I could see that other beneficiary’s spirits were also lifted, we would tell jokes and laugh together—no matter how sick we were. I sensed that even though I was handicapped, and I was in a wheelchair, people could not take away my personhood.”
It took a full year for Jean to recover enough strength to begin physical therapy. Once he did, his condition began to dramatically improve: he quickly progressed from a wheelchair to a walker, to a cane. Now, seventeen months after arriving at SBH, Jean is walking on his own for the first time in six years. He is excited to return home to Les Cayes soon, where he dreams of opening his own small shop.
For Jean, our SCI Center is not just a care facility—it’s a second home where he found a community. He told us, “If it were not for the help that you give here, many Haitians would die. Many people who have problems come here, and by the grace of St. Boniface, they find the help that they need. People come here with their children because of the way people are treated here. Of all the many hospitals throughout Haiti, St. Boniface is truly here to help Haitian people. And I want to say that I am not discouraged for the people of Haiti, I feel like real progress can be made through hospitals like St. Boniface.”