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My little earthquake girl

Updated on August 20, 2014
Disaster can strike from anywhere.  When it happens there is nothing anyone can do except wait for help.  Many people died because they could not be reached in time.
Disaster can strike from anywhere. When it happens there is nothing anyone can do except wait for help. Many people died because they could not be reached in time.

Happiness from a wheel chair

When catastrophe strikes

Three years ago, when the 7.0 earthquake ravaged Haiti, 17 spinal cord injured patients came to my hospital to recover. It was a very hard time for everyone. Between the language barrier and the extent of the injuries, it was just a tough time for these people. Not only did they lose everything they had, but they lost their ability to walk ever again. I only heard of the earthquake on the news, but I had no idea I would actually get to help in this disaster.

I call her my little earthquake girl, but she became such a light in my life. A young woman who was finishing up nursing school in Haiti laid under a colapsed building for three days in a hole before anyone found her. She did not think anyone would ever find her. Some of the victims family members came to be with them, but she came all alone and adopted us as her family.

Brunette is her name and what a delight she was. When she first came to our floor, she was very shy, in a lot of pain, and very heavy hearted. Everything had been taken from her. Her family was no where to be found, no one knew what happened to any of them and she was in a strange place not knowing anything but French. She was depressed and really thought she had nothing left but stay in bed.

After she got over her initial shock of being paralyzed from the waste down, she began to work very hard in her rehabilitation. In no time she was able to transfer herself to her wheel chair, bathe herself and dress herself. She started learning English so that she could communicate better with the staff.

This young lady not only warmed my heart, but she showed me that no matter how bad the situation became, she was not going to let it get her down. Finally a friend of an aunt was found in Fort Lauderdale, so she at least has a place to go home to. The other patients had to be put up in a hotel until family members were located. Devastation is more then I would call this turn of events in Haiti.

As I watched her recover, I realized how sad it was for her life to be in a wheel chair from mother nature. A young woman with a warm heart, who was born in a country already of poverty and now living the rest of her life wheel chair bound.

None of us have any room to complain about life as we see it. Three years later and many of them still have no homes to live in, but are living in tents. Their country is not helping them recover from this disaster by any means.

Seize the moment, cherish the sunshine, enjoy your family because you never know what life will hold for you. After she left the hospital, I never know what happened to her, but I do know she is probably living a good life with her aunts friend who was willing to care for her. I will never forget this young lady ever in my life and how she made me thankful every day for everything that comes my way.

17 people who are left to a life of a wheel chair, who had no place to go and no family to be with them. No one would think how devastating this was to these people. They already have to live in a poor country and then think now about living in a wheel chair. The only thing I can say is that they were grateful for everything we did for them. All the Haitian employees where I worked banned together and cooked them food, brought them clothing and bought them personal needs things. This experience is one that I will never forget even in my elderly years when I may not remember anything else.

Port a Prince before the earthquake
Port a Prince before the earthquake

A beautiful island

Haiti before the earth quake was a beautiful island. Even after all these years, people are still living in tents. I have many friends from Haiti who enjoyed living there. When catastrophe stricks it knows no person by status, wealth or poverty. It takes it's victims and does not discriminate against anyone.

Life as they saw it


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