FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Visiting Daniel

by JOHN CARROLL, MD

Port-au-Prince.

I checked on Daniel again the other day. He lives in a slum in Port-au-Prince called Project Drouillard which is considered to be part of Cite Soleil. The abject squalor of both places seems the same to me.

I carefully climbed the steps to his second story flat and entered the dark room which he and his five siblings share. Daniel looks better to me than he did in January and he proudly showed me his new Haitian passport which had been issued to him the day before. It took a month of hard work to get this and he keeps the passport tucked inside the front cover of his Bible.

However, we still have no medical center to accept Daniel for his heart surgery. We have contacted about 15 excellent people and medical centers but still don’t have a definite “yes” from anyone. I told Daniel I have no place to take him with his shiny new blue passport and all he did was calmly nod his head yes. He seems like an innocent man on death row who is still optimistic that his execution will be put on hold.

I remember the day in 2000 that Haitian Hearts had a group of five or six kids gathered and ready to go the next morning to the States for heart surgery. I put the kids and their family members in a guesthouse so I would not “lose” any of them in the chaos and mayhem of Port-au-Prince. We had a private jet arranged to come to Port-au-Prince to get all of us the next morning and everything needed to proceed smoothly for us to make it out.

The night before we were to leave I received a message from someone in the States involved with the flight that there would not be enough seats on the plane for all of us to fly. One of the kids would not be able to go. And so I had to decide which one would not go.

Daniel was the oldest “kid”. I factored in all of the various cardiac pathologies and the social conditions of the children involved and chose Daniel as the one who would not be on the plane the next morning. I remember telling him that he would not be making the trip and that we would try and bring him on a subsequent trip. Daniel took the news just fine and did not complain one bit and neither did his older brother who was staying with him.

When morning came I received another message that the pilot would make an exception and he did have an extra seat after all. (I think it was because an adult could hold one of the sick babies on her lap during the flight, but I can’t remember for sure.) I excitedly told Daniel the good news that he would be flying with us and would have his heart surgery. He responded with very little emotion.

Daniel hasn’t changed much since 2000. He is now a courageous Haitian man who is unafraid and takes each day as it comes. We need to give Daniel another chance. He has much to teach us.

John A. Carroll, M.D. is a physician working in Port-au-Prince.

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

Weekend Edition
December 02, 2016
Friday - Sunday
John Pilger
The Coming War on China
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: The CIA’s Plots to Kill Castro
Paul Street
The Iron Heel at Home: Force Matters
Pam Martens - Russ Martens
Timberg’s Tale: Washington Post Reporter Spreads Blacklist of Independent Journalist Sites
Andrew Levine
Must We Now Rethink the Hillary Question? Absolutely, Not
Joshua Frank
CounterPunch as Russian Propagandists: the Washington Post’s Shallow Smear
David Rosen
The Return of HUAC?
Rob Urie
Race and Class in Trump’s America
Patrick Cockburn
Why Everything You’ve Read About Syria and Iraq Could be Wrong
Caroline Hurley
Anatomy of a Nationalist
Michael Hudson – Steve Keen
Rebel Economists on the Historical Path to a Global Recovery
Ayesha Khan
A Muslim Woman’s Reflections on Trump’s Misogyny
Russell Mokhiber
Sanders Single Payer and Death by Democrat
Roger Harris
The Triumph of Trump and the Specter of Fascism
Steve Horn
Donald Trump’s Swamp: Meet Ten Potential Energy and Climate Cabinet Picks and the Pickers
Louis Proyect
Deepening Contradictions: Identity Politics and Steelworkers
Ralph Nader
Trump and His Betraying Makeover
Stephen Kimber
The Media’s Abysmal Coverage of Castro’s Death
Dan Bacher
WSPA: The West’s Most Powerful Corporate Lobbying Group
Nile Bowie
Will Trump backpedal on the Trans-Pacific Partnership?
Ron Ridenour
Fidel’s Death Brings Forth Great and Sad Memories
Missy Comley Beattie
By Invitation Only
Fred Gardner
Sword of Damocles: Pot Partisans Fear Trump’s DOJ
Renee Parsons
Obama and Propornot
Dean Baker
Cash and Carrier: Trump and Pence Put on a Show
Jack Rasmus
Taming Trump: From Faux Left to Faux Right Populism
Ron Jacobs
Selling Racism—A Lesson From Pretoria
Julian Vigo
The Hijos of Buenos Aires:  When Identity is Political
Subcomandante Insurgente Galeano
By Way of Prologue: On How We Arrived at the Watchtower and What We Saw from There
Dave Lindorff
Is Trump’s Idea To Fix the ‘Rigged System’ by Appointing Crooks Who’ve Played It?
Aidan O'Brien
Fidel and Spain: A Tale of Right and Wrong
Carol Dansereau
Stop Groveling! How to Thwart Trump and Save the World
Kim Nicolini
Moonlight, The Movie
Evan Jones
Behind GE’s Takeover of Alstom Energy
James A Haught
White Evangelicals are Fading, Powerful, Baffling
Barbara Moroncini
Protests and Their Others
Joseph Natoli
The Winds at Their Backs
Cesar Chelala
Poverty is Not Only an Ignored Word
David Swanson
75 Years of Pearl Harbor Lies
Alex Jensen
The Great Deceleration
Nyla Ali Khan
When Faith is the Legacy of One’s Upbringing
Gilbert Mercier
Trump Win: Paradigm Shift or Status Quo?
Stephen Martin
From ‘Too Big to Fail’ to ‘Too Big to Lie’: the End Game of Corporatist Globalization.
Charles R. Larson
Review: Emma Jane Kirby’s “The Optician of Lampedusa”
David Yearsley
Haydn Seek With Hsu
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail