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Helping Haiti Recover: One Person at a Time

  • July 6, 2010

AmeriCares has already delivered over $25 million in aid to Haiti to help survivors of the devastating January 2010 earthquake. Our relief efforts include sending medicines and medical supplies and supporting health care facilities serving the people of Haiti. But the biggest story is about individuals like Wilson, Monley, Israël and the millions of other brave Haitians fighting to regain their health and hope.

AmeriCares supported Dr. Neil Joyce, a long-time volunteer with our partner International Medical Corps, in providing charitable medical treatment to earthquake survivors in one of Haiti’s largest hospitals. Here are stories of patients who are alive today thanks in part to the care they received:


Wilson lives in a tent city outside Port-au-Prince.  He suffered for about a week with what he thought was the flu. But then, his legs gave out and he collapsed. Desperate to help, Wilson’s cousin carried him on foot as far as he could. Eventually, they were picked up by a rickety bus and taken to the hospital. Doctors quickly sent him to the intensive care unit (ICU) for round-the-clock treatment.

Wilson’s health improved after receiving medications for his infection and physical therapy to strengthen his legs.  Eventually, Wilson defeated his severe illness and regained his strength – able to walk out of the hospital and head home to his family.


Monley, a remarkable five-year-old boy, survived for eight days beneath the rubble of his collapsed apartment. Dr. Neil Joyce, a volunteer physician, was nearby when Monley’s uncle found him under the blocks of cement that killed his parents.  Monley was severely dehydrated and had a few scrapes, but miraculously, no fractures or serious wounds.  With some IV-fluids and basic care from Dr. Joyce, he survived.

Monley quickly made a full recovery. He now visits the hospital for check-ups and help with the emotional trauma he suffered with the loss of parents and eight-day ordeal beneath the rubble.


Israël struggled to take even a sip of air. Everything about his body was aching and stiff from severe muscle spasms, from his joints to the muscles in his face.  It was as if he was becoming frozen like a statue in slow motion, with each body part slowly shutting down into paralysis.  “I thought I was going to die,” he says.

And Israël would have, if it were not for the swift and dedicated care of volunteer doctors and nurses in the emergency room. They quickly determined that the cause of his suffering was tetanus, a disease that most people in the developed world are vaccinated against. The horrifying disease causes a slow, excruciating death in as many as half of the people who become infected.

Israël could barely breathe when he arrived at the emergency room. “I was suffering badly, but I was treated so well,” he said, smiling. “And now, I have to go back to school.” After receiving intensive treatment including medicines to stop the infection and spasms, his movement is still a bit stiff. But thankfully, Israël can now breathe easy. 

AmeriCares Commitment to Saving Lives Around the World

AmeriCares long-term commitment to Haiti builds on our experience and expertise in delivering critical medical aid under difficult circumstances to hard-to-reach places. Overcoming the challenges of man-made crises such as Darfur and natural disasters worldwide, AmeriCares has a proven track record of delivering aid whenever and wherever it’s needed.

From remote villages in the Himalayan mountains and communities deep in the jungles of Guatemala to distressed cities in the U.S. such as Detroit and New Orleans, AmeriCares goes the extra mile to get lifesaving medical supplies into the hands of people in need. Your support helps people in Haiti like Wilson, Monley, Israël and millions of other men, women and children in crisis around the world.

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