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:
May 26, 2016
Paul Craig Roberts
The Looting Stage of Capitalism: Germany’s Assault on the IMF
Pepe Escobar
Hillary Clinton: A Major Gold-Digging Liability
Sam Pizzigati
America’s Cosmic Tax Gap
Ramzy Baroud
Time to End the ‘Hasbara’: Palestinian Media and the Search for a Common Story
José L. Flores
Wall Street’s New Man in Brazil: The Forces Behind Dilma Rousseff’s Impeachment
Patrick Cockburn
The Battle of Fallujah: ISIS Unleashes Its Death Squads
John Feffer
The Coming Drone Blowback
Alex Ray
The Death Toll in Syria: What Do the Numbers Really Say?
Richard Pithouse
We Shall be the Prey and the Vulture
Binoy Kampmark
Trump and the Polls of Loathing
Manuel E. Yepe
A Cruise Ship Without Tourists Arrives in Havana
Jack Rasmus
Greek Debt Negotiations: Will the IMF Exit the Troika?
Ajamu Nangwaya
Pan-Africanism, Feminism and Finding Missing Pan-Africanist Women
Howard Lisnoff
Israel, a Palestinian State and Anti-Semitism
May 25, 2016
Eric Draitser
Obama in Hiroshima: A Case Study in Hypocrisy
Ryan Mallett-Outtrim
Does Venezuela’s Crisis Prove Socialism Doesn’t Work?
Dan Arel
The Socialist Revolution Beyond Sanders and the Democratic Party
Marc Estrin
Cocky-Doody Politics and World Affairs
Sam Husseini
Layers of Islamophobia: Do Liberals Care That Hillary Returned “Muslim Money”?
Susan Babbitt
Invisible in Life, Invisible in Death: How Information Becomes Useless
Mel Gurtov
Hillary’s Cowgirl Diplomacy?
Kathy Kelly
Hammering for Peace
Dick Reavis
The Impeachment of Donald Trump
Wahid Azal
Behind the Politics of a Current Brouhaha in Iran: an Ex-President Ayatollah’s Daughter and the Baha’is
Jesse Jackson
Obama Must Recommit to Eliminating Nuclear Arms
Colin Todhunter
From the Green Revolution to GMOs: Living in the Shadow of Global Agribusiness
Binoy Kampmark
Turkey as Terror: the Role of Ankara in the Brexit Referendum
Dave Lindorff
72-Year-Old Fringe Left Candidate Wins Presidency in Austrian Run-Off Election
May 24, 2016
Sharmini Peries - Michael Hudson
The Financial Invasion of Greece
Jonathan Cook
Religious Zealots Ready for Takeover of Israeli Army
Ted Rall
Why I Am #NeverHillary
Mari Jo Buhle – Paul Buhle
Television Meets History
Robert Hunziker
Troika Heat-Seeking Missile Destroys Greece
Judy Gumbo
May Day Road Trip: 1968 – 2016
Colin Todhunter
Cheerleader for US Aggression, Pushing the World to the Nuclear Brink
Jeremy Brecher
This is What Insurgency Looks Like
Jonathan Latham
Unsafe at Any Dose: Chemical Safety Failures from DDT to Glyphosate to BPA
Binoy Kampmark
Suing Russia: Litigating over MH17
Dave Lindorff
Europe, the US and the Politics of Pissing and Being Pissed
Matt Peppe
Cashing In at the Race Track While Facing Charges of “Abusive” Lending Practices
Gilbert Mercier
If Bernie Sanders Is Real, He Will Run as an Independent
Peter Bohmer
A Year Later! The Struggle for Justice Continues!
Dave Welsh
Police Chief Fired in Victory for the Frisco 500
May 23, 2016
Conn Hallinan
European Union: a House Divided
Paul Buhle
Labor’s Sell-Out and the Sanders Campaign
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail