Six Months Later: JDC Creates Hope in Haiti

Survivors of Haiti's earthquake, now living in tent camps, learn to help their neighbors with occupational therapy to heal from injuries sustained during the disaster. Petionville, Haiti. (Photo by Lee Celano/Getty Images for JDC)
Survivors of Haiti's earthquake, now living in tent camps, learn to help their neighbors with occupational therapy to heal from injuries sustained during the disaster. Petionville, Haiti. (Photo by Lee Celano/Getty Images for JDC)

Six months after the devastating earthquake struck Haiti, JDC, working with its partners on the ground, is bringing hope to Haitians suffering from physical disabilities. Together with the Afya Foundation and Magen David Adom/Tel HaShomer Hospital, JDC’s rehabilitation program is ensuring amputees and others who have suffered severe injuries as a result of the natural disaster are receiving physical and occupational therapy to help them perform daily activities and live independently. Bringing this relief to the people of Haiti means combing through densely packed tent cities in search of the injured, and once found, providing them with the appropriate therapy, including referrals to the JDC-sponsored rehab center at the Haiti University Hospital for high-quality prosthesis and physical rehabilitation.

Madona R, age 43, is one of the people discovered in a tent camp in Port-au-Prince. She is one of hundreds of thousands of Haitians whose lives have been touched by JDC.

A devoted mother who lost the oldest of her three children in the earthquake, Madona also nearly lost the use of her right arm when it was badly broken by falling debris. Although Madona had surgery to repair the bone, she never went to physical therapy and stopped using her arm. As a result, its range of motion was severely limited to about 40% and the muscles atrophied. She had to stop making her daily coffee with that hand; flipping Creole pancakes and brushing her teeth became things of the past.

Madona is now receiving the proper physical therapy she needs to get a new start and continue taking care of her family.  She feels blessed to receive this life-saving help and is looking forward to getting back to making the Creole pancakes her husband and children have been craving.

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