Plastic Surgery After the Haiti Earthquake, Part II

Part 2 of a 3 part series. If you want to start with part 1, click here.

Our second day in Haiti was one I’ll never forget. A saga started that day for a little boy and luckily ended well a couple years later.  We arrived at Love-A-Child orphanage and I was seeing some patients for various cuts and scrapes. Aside from performing a circumcision on a 6 month old that had an infected foreskin, that, believe it or not, was not the most shocking thing I saw that day! In case you’re wondering how a plastic surgeon can perform a circumcision, as part of my plastic surgery training, I first had to do a general surgery residency and I learned how to do a circumcision on my pediatric surgery rotation during that general surgery residency. But back to my story.


Rather than describing the child that came to the makeshift clinic that morning, just take a look at this video and focus on his scalp…
[KGVID poster=”http://buildmybod.local/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/Pulsating-brain_thumb6.jpg” width=”640″ height=”480″]http://buildmybod.local/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/Pulsating-brain.m4v[/KGVID]


Unbelievable, right? I had never seen anything like it. The brain was pulsating underneath the skin and since there was no bone between the brain and skin, the pulsations were visible. And they asked if there was anything I could do to fix it while at the orphanage that week!  Luckily for this child, there was a very resourceful University of Tennessee-Knoxville student working at Love-A-Child that week. Heath Stone made it his mission to get the child back to the States and have reconstructive surgery to repair his skull and protect the child’s brain. It took about 2 more years to make arrangements but the child was brought to Tennessee and underwent surgery. Here he is recovering….

[KGVID poster=”http://buildmybod.local/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/Jordany-singing_thumb5.jpg” width=”480″ height=”272″]http://buildmybod.local/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/Jordany-singing.m4v[/KGVID]


And while it’s wonderful that he received the care that he did, he unfortunately is still in Haiti, still at the Love-A-Child orphanage with his family. This was one of the most heartbreaking aspects of Haiti. The world would go there, do their best to help the victims of the earthquake but at the end of the day, there was still no infrastructure in the country to help these people return to a normal life. In other words, the victims still had no homes and even if you built them a home, they still had no jobs. And if they did find a job, it was such low pay that families couldn’t elevate to a better, healthier quality of life. I’m not suggesting that it’s not worth trying but whether we try or not, the lives of Haitians are not improving to an extent that we can pat ourselves on the back for a job well-done. At least not yet.

Stay tuned for part III…


On Key

Related Posts

Join over 7,000+ providers receiving insights in their inbox to boost their revenue and help their patient satisfaction with our turn-key weight management program.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.