Healing for Mother and Child

April 5, 2013 • Haiti

A mother in Haiti comes to faith in Christ after Samaritan's Purse helps her daughter receive life-saving medical care

By Brianna Wilson, medical program manager in Haiti

When 5-year-old Petit Clona arrived at the Samaritan’s Purse medical clinic in Cité Soleil, our triage staff knew immediately that she was extremely ill. The clinic’s Haitian physicians and a Canadian volunteer doctor soon discovered that Clona had heart failure. If she was going to live, she would need surgery right away.

Health care services in Haiti are limited and very difficult for anyone to navigate, let alone a family from the most destitute neighborhood in the Western Hemisphere. In North America, a pediatrician or pediatric cardiologist would have been summoned. The little girl would have been admitted to an Intensive Care Unit and would have undergone multiple diagnostic tests stat.

‘Stat’ in the medical world is short for the Latin word statim, meaning immediately. In Haiti, however, it seems few problems are able to be solved stat—including many medical emergencies.

First, we had to decide which hospital was likely to accept Clona. People with serious illnesses are often turned away from medical facilities because they can’t afford their required tests, or because advanced treatment is unavailable. But praise God that after many phone calls, emails, and much advocacy, Clona was admitted to a local hospital and examined by a visiting pediatric cardiologist.

By partnering with another Christian organization, we were able to send Petit Clona and her mother to the Dominican Republic for surgery. After a few weeks in a hospital being nourished and strengthened for the operation, Clona underwent the procedure. Overcoming the odds, this brave little girl recovered and came back fully healed.

Today we had the opportunity to visit her for the first time since she returned. She was all smiles and noticeably chubbier and more playful. Without the surgery, Clona wouldn’t have survived. Thankfully, we were able to diagnose her condition and help her family navigate the complex healthcare system.

But the story doesn’t end there.

While Clona and her mother were in the Dominican Republic, her baby sister wasn’t being breastfed and her father couldn’t afford formula. Through our clinic’s formula program, we were able to supply food for the baby while mom was away, helping her stay strong and healthy.

Clona’s mom was not a Christian before these events, but she has now accepted Christ and is looking forward to being baptized. She credits God with the healing of her little girl. She will also be trained in microfinance, which will empower her to run a small business in support of her family.

Such a story is not unique here in Cité Soleil. There are so many needs, medically and spiritually. Please pray for those in similar situations who require medical care for their bodies and need Jesus Christ in their hearts.