Every January when I return from Haiti I say it was “the best dental team ever!” This year’s team saw 150 patients, pulled 199 teeth and screened several hundred school children over three days. Nine of the group have been together the last three dental trips. Dr. Christopher Dyer, Dr. Matt Ricke, Robbie Forrester, Al Brady, and I are the only ones from Highlands. Others are from Franklin, Asheville, Greenville, Charlotte, and Atlanta – family and friends of friends. Father Kesner said during the announcements in church Sunday that our friendship, care, love and respect is worth more than any money or anything else we can give.
While Dr. Dyer and Dr. Ricke were with patients in the dental clinic, Wilfrid Bathol (right) examined teeth of the students from Bon Sauveur, the Episcopal School in Cange. I have known Wilfrid since he was a student in high school. Several friends supported him through dental school. He graduated a year ago. Whenever the dental team is in Haiti, Wilfrid comes to assist.
Rodolphe St. Vil (left) is painting murals on a wall of the orphanage at Partners in Health in Cange. I met him on my first visit seventeen years ago when he was thirteen years old sitting in class as I taught English. Both of Rodolphe’s feet turn inward at a ninety degree angle. When he walks they move over each other. I asked Dr. Paul Farmer about surgery to correct Rodolphe’s feet. Dr. Farmer said it was not life threatening and would take a year in traction so surgery was out of the question.
We first discovered the orphanage last year. Twenty-four children abandoned at the hospital live there. Nine of them have a special need such as cerebral palsy. The special needs children all live in one room where they stay in cribs/beds all day, every day. The other fifteen live upstairs in two small rooms. They attend Bon Saveur School. Incarnation has already helped to improve their living conditions some, but much more needs to be done. If you have questions or would like to help please contact Al Brady or Jane Chalker.