Racing the Clock to Treat Dernè's Appendicitis

December 12, 2019

Morinè’s baby boy, Dernè, had appendicitis—an extremely painful but common condition that is easily treated with surgery. That is, it’s easily treated if the patient quickly receives surgery. If not, the appendix can burst and spread a potentially deadly infection throughout the body.

Morinè had already brought her son to three different hospitals and had been turned away each time. She was worried that Dernè was running out of time.

Dernè became ill during a period of intense civil unrest in Haiti. Even when things are calm, many Haitian healthcare facilities don’t have adequate supplies to provide even basic care to patients. Even fewer facilities have the capacity to provide surgery, which Dernè desperately needed. With the unrest, many of these healthcare facilities faced even greater supply shortages—and many had to close down completely.

I arrived at SBH and they gave my baby good care. I’m saying a big thank you to all the SBH staff. Thank you.


Desperate to save her son’s life, Morinè took him on the four-hour journey to SBH. The trip was long and difficult for her ailing son, and Morinè was afraid they would get stuck at every protest and roadblock they drove through. But she knew that SBH was their only hope, and trusted that they would be open and able to provide the lifesaving care her son needed. At every roadblock, she held up Dernè and explained to protesters that her son was extremely sick and needed urgent care. Seeing the young boy in pain, the protesters immediately allowed her to pass, and continue on her way to Fond des Blancs. 

Once at SBH, Dernè immediately received emergency surgery to remove his appendix. Mother and son had arrived in time—Dernè’s appendix had not ruptured. Morinè and Dernè spent two more weeks in our pediatrics ward, as Dernè’s little body recovered from his procedure. Holding his hand in hers, Morinè was relieved to see her son’s smile return, and his body grow strong again. “I came to HSB after going to three different hospitals with him. I couldn’t find a solution for us,” she told us. “I arrived at SBH and they gave my baby good care. I’m saying a big thank you to all the SBH staff. Thank you.”