Racing the Clock to Treat Derné's Appendicitis

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

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

Derné 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 Derné 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, Morine took him on the four-hour journey to SBH. The trip was long and difficult for her ailing son, and Morine 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 Derné 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, Derné immediately received emergency surgery to remove his appendix. Mother and son had arrived in time—Derné’s appendix had not ruptured. Morine and Derné spent two more weeks in our pediatrics ward, as Derné’s little body recovered from his procedure. Holding his hand in hers, Morine was relieved to see her son’s smile return, and his body grow strong again. “I came to SBH 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.”