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

February 20, 2017
Bruce E. Levine
Humiliation Porn: Trump’s Gift to His Faithful…and Now the Blowback
Melvin Goodman
“Wag the Dog,” Revisited
Robert Hunziker
Fukushima: a Lurking Global Catastrophe?
David Smith-Ferri
Resistance and Resolve in Russia: Memorial HRC
Kenneth Surin
Global India?
Norman Pollack
Fascistization Crashing Down: Driving the Cleaver into Social Welfare
Patrick Cockburn
Trump v. the Media: a Fight to the Death
Susan Babbitt
Shooting Arrows at Heaven: Why is There Debate About Battle Imagery in Health?
Matt Peppe
New York Times Openly Promotes Formal Apartheid Regime By Israel
David Swanson
Understanding Robert E. Lee Supporters
Michael Brenner
The Narcissism of Donald Trump
Martin Billheimer
Capital of Pain
Thomas Knapp
Florida’s Shenanigans Make a Great Case for (Re-)Separation of Ballot and State
Jordan Flaherty
Best Films of 2016: Black Excellence Versus White Mediocrity
Weekend Edition
February 17, 2017
Friday - Sunday
David Price
Rogue Elephant Rising: The CIA as Kingslayer
Matthew Stevenson
Is Trump the Worst President Ever?
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Flynn?
John Wight
Brexit and Trump: Why Right is Not the New Left
Diana Johnstone
France: Another Ghastly Presidential Election Campaign; the Deep State Rises to the Surface
Neve Gordon
Trump’s One-State Option
Roger Harris
Emperor Trump Has No Clothes: Time to Organize!
Joan Roelofs
What Else is Wrong with Globalization
Andrew Levine
Why Trump’s Muslim Travel Ban?
Mike Whitney
Blood in the Water: the Trump Revolution Ends in a Whimper
Vijay Prashad
Trump, Turmoil and Resistance
Ron Jacobs
U.S. Imperial War Personified
David Swanson
Can the Climate Survive Adherence to War and Partisanship?
Andre Vltchek
Governor of Jakarta: Get Re-elected or Die!
Norman Pollack
Self-Devouring Reaction: Governmental Impasse
Patrick Cockburn
The Coming Destruction of Mosul
Steve Horn
What Do a Louisiana Pipeline Explosion and Dakota Access Pipeline Have in Common? Phillips 66
Brian Saady
Why Corporations are Too Big to Jail in the Drug War
Graham Peebles
Ethiopia: Peaceful Protest to Armed Uprising
Luke Meyer
The Case of Tony: Inside a Lifer Hearing
Binoy Kampmark
Adolf, The Donald and History
Robert Koehler
The Great American Awakening
Murray Dobbin
Canadians at Odds With Their Government on Israel
Fariborz Saremi
A Whole New World?
Joyce Nelson
Japan’s Abe, Trump & Illegal Leaks
Christopher Brauchli
Trump 1, Tillerson 0
Yves Engler
Is This Hate Speech?
Dan Bacher
Trump Administration Exempts Three CA Oil Fields From Water Protection Rule at Jerry Brown’s Request
Richard Klin
Solid Gold
Melissa Garriga
Anti-Abortion and Anti-Fascist Movements: More in Common Than Meets the Eye
Thomas Knapp
The Absurd Consequences of a “Right to Privacy”
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail