Mirlaine Learns to Walk Again

When Mirlaine first arrived our Spinal Cord Injury Center, she was nearly paralyzed and deeply depressed. She couldn’t move her legs, and she could barely move her head. She didn’t think there was anything anyone could do to help her regain the life she once had, and she missed her two-year-old daughter desperately. 

But just a month after her arrival, Mirlaine was not only expertly maneuvering around the hospital in her wheelchair—she was learning to walk again.


Mirlaine and Sophia practice walking.

Mirlaine couldn’t remember anything after the accident. She was on a motorcycle one moment—and in the next, she was on the ground in agonizing pain. 

Desperate for help, Miraline’s family brought her to three different hospitals. Each one turned her away because they did not have the staff or supplies to treat her extensive injuries. 

Finally, Mirlaine’s family was able to get her to Hospital Bernard Mevs in Port-au-Prince, where she received two emergency neurosurgeries. But for the extensive rehabilitative care she needed to rebuild her life, there was only one place in Haiti Mirlaine could turn SBH.

Sophia’s exercises help strengthen muscles and hone stability.

Sophia’s patients often leave smiling!

Once at the SCI Center, Mirlaine met with Sophia, her physical therapist, Elysee, her social worker, and the other members of her care team. Together, they helped show Mirlaine that her disability would not have to limit her dreams. Each day, she regained strength and control in her limbs through her physical therapy sessions. Mirlaine learned how to use a wheelchair, which she loves—”I can roll wherever and do whatever I want with it,” she told us. She received psychosocial support to help her process her complex feelings about her injury, and how it had upended her life. She saw from other patients at the center how much her life could improve by diligently doing her exercises and working hard during therapy. And slowly but surely, Mirlaine relearned how to put on her shoes and walk again.

Now, Mirlaine is preparing to go home. She’s excited to hold her daughter and thrilled she will be able to hold her hand and walk beside her again. “It is thanks to SBH that I have regained the ability to help myself and to move freely,” she told us. “Everyone at the SCI center was really welcoming. Because of the rehabilitation program and therapy, I am able to help myself. I can move my neck, my feet—I can even take off my shoes! Even now I’m standing up and walking. Thank you!”