As the recovery efforts in Haiti continue, Yéle Haiti Foundation and its co-founder Wyclef Jean have been assisting around the clock. Working with the Global Medical Relief Fund (GMRF), the foundation will help three young Haitian amputees get urgently needed artificial limbs.
Yéle will provide eight round-trip tickets—which includes tickets for GMRF staff and the patients’ relatives—between Port-au-Prince and the GMRF’s headquarters in Staten Island, N.Y. The group will then travel to Philadelphia, where the three patients will be treated at Shriners Hospitals for Children, which will be providing the care for free.
Margarette Pierre, 17, lost her arm to above her elbow in the Jan. 12 earthquake; Chantal Mori, also 17, lost her arm; and Farah Maurice, 8, lost her leg above her knee. They will all be traveling under the auspices of the U.S. State Department with “humanitarian parole” papers.
Medical experts estimate that upwards of 200,000 Haitians will end up losing limbs; surgeons in-country are struggling to keep up with the enormous numbers of wounded. Haiti will soon have to cope with an abnormally high number of disabled citizens who will need artificial limbs, and the country’s clinics are overwhelmed. Because of the risk of fatal infections, amputation is crucial in saving lives. Prosthetic devices must be fitted as soon as possible after healing, then readjusted in the following weeks.
“It’s an arduous emotional journey for earthquake victims who have already endured so much, and the distances they must travel for treatment only make it harder,” said Nicole Cramer, executive director of Yéle Haiti. “That’s why Yéle Haiti responded to GMRF’s call for assistance with transportation for these young women.”
“Because of Yéle Haiti, three young girls will have a chance at a normal life,” said Elissa Montanti, founder of the GMRF. “There are many more kids in Haiti who are anxiously awaiting medical help, and we hope this is the start of a long relationship with Yéle Haiti.”