A Daughter’s Determination; a Father’s Strength
Carline, 42, lives in Port-au-Prince with her two children. After the hurricane, she traveled back to her hometown in the outskirts of Jeremie to see how her family and their home fared during the storm. She arrived to a terrible surprise.
Her father’s home – the home where Carline spent her childhood – was destroyed, along with crops and livestock. To make matters worse, a palm tree fell on her father, leaving him with a fractured leg and gaping wound. By the time the roads cleared and she was able to reach him, the wound was badly infected. Desperate and determined to get medical care for her father, Carline somehow managed to place him into a makeshift gurney and drive him to St. Antoine, the government-run hospital.
Given the scope of the disaster left by Hurricane Matthew, St. Antoine was overflowing with patients. Project Medishare and our partners in Jeremie have been providing much needed support to the hospital. It is there that Carline encountered Elektra Carras-Terzian of the Caris Foundation, to whom she explained her father’s injuries and begged for help. Elektra promised Carline she would return with someone who could treat him.
True to her word, Elektra came back the next day with Hannah Miner, a two-time Project Medishare volunteer and nurse who specializes in wound care. Hannah arrived at St. Antoine with all the supplies necessary to redress the wound, but quickly realized it was gangrenous. This made the injury far more critical than originally believed. Carline’s father needed to be evacuated to Port-au-Prince immediately.
After securing seats on Curves CEO Mark Heavin’s private plane, Hannah and other team members placed Carline and her father into an ambulance, and drove them to the airstrip. During the slow and bumpy ride, so much more was learned about this determined daughter and her strong, courageous father, who never once complained about or bemoaned his circumstances.
Carline’s father Morris is 84 years old – at least that’s his best guess since he has never had a birth certificate. He eked out a living as a farmer, providing for Carline and her two siblings as best as possible. For the last several years, Morris has been his wife’s primary caretaker. She is physically handicapped, but thankfully was not injured during the hurricane. Carline joked with her father that with his injury, she now has to take care of two more children. With a laugh, Morris responded: “That’s what children are for.”
The joking and teasing between father and daughter continued throughout the ride, each trying to distract the other from the gravity of the situation. And each fondly smiling at the other to ease the anxiety of not knowing what lay ahead.
Update: Due to the severity of the infection, Morris’ leg had to be amputated. He is still in Port-au-Prince recovering from the operation. Carline says that both she and her dad are doing well.