Earthquake Response

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A Father’s Journey to Find Care after the Earthquake

Jubens is a 7-year-old boy from L’Asile, a town very close to the epicenter of the August 14 earthquake in southern Haiti. Jubens sustained two broken legs in the disaster, requiring specialized orthopedic surgery. He has been receiving care at St. Boniface Hospital for over two weeks, and will likely need additional surgeries and extensive physical therapy to heal. He will receive all of the services he needs at St. Boniface Hospital. Below, Jubens’s father, Chanel, recounts the earthquake and his journey to find his son care.

My name is Chanel, I’m from L’Asile, and I am Jubens’s father.

Jubens is one of my favorite children because he is always tender with me. That day [of the eathquake], I was heading to my fields. When the earth shook, my thoughts immediately went to Jubens. I ran back home and found both Jubens’ legs broken. I asked, “What happened?” and [the family] told me the house fell on him. I had to take him to the [local healthcare clinic]. At the hospital, they bandaged his legs, and then they told me they couldn’t do anything else for him and I should take him to another hospital.

A young boy wearing a red t-shirt lays in a hospital bed. His father sits in a chair to the left of the hospital bed. A doctor stands to the right of the hospital bed. The doctor and the patient's father talk.

It hurt me a lot that my only son who I love so much was suffering and I could not help him.

Chanel, Jubens's father

I had to return home with Jubens. I took him to see a medsen fèy (a traditional medicine practitioner), but that also didn’t work and his legs were starting to go bad. Everyone said to take him to the hospital but I didn’t have the means for that. It hurt me a lot that my only son who I love so much was suffering and I could not help him.

I… came across family members who said there was a vehicle for St. Boniface Hospital that had come to pick up people so they could give them care. So I went with my family to where they were, and I talked with a doctor who agreed to take Jubens for me. I told him, “I don’t have any money,” and he replied, “Don’t worry about it. You will get free care, and the hospital will help you too.” I was so happy! 

I got ready to go to the hospital with him, but [the clinicians from St. Boniface Hospital] started to give Jubens first aid right in L’Asile. When I arrived at St. Boniface Hospital they welcomed me, and they cared for Jubens and brought him into an operating room. I was anxious because Jubens was crying since he didn’t want to leave me. But I had to wait for him, and I was unable to eat anything until he was back from the operating room. Now Jubens is with me, and I am happy he did not lose his legs. I can’t thank St. Boniface Hospital enough for what they did for Jubens.

A yong boy in a red t-shirt lays in a hospital bed. He has two broken legs, which are wrapped in white bandages. A doctor wearing a black shirt and a white medical face mask leans over and touches the boy's head.