Helping in Haiti Through Hurricane Matthew
October 11, 2016
Starkey Hearing Foundation has worked for years to bring hearing health care to Haiti. The people of that country have seen so much devastation over the last decade, and we’ve worked to show that we genuinely care for them and want them to have improved lives.
Since travel to Haiti requires many levels of set up, our team needs to plan any ventures there months in advance. In mid-summer we set up to travel to Haiti to provide follow-up AfterCare to patients in early October, fully knowing that would take place in the heart of hurricane season in that region.
There was never a thought to cancel or delay that AfterCare hearing mission, but unfortunately as luck would have it, it did end up taking place exactly as Hurricane Matthew grew in the Caribbean and smashed directly into Haiti.
Still not missing a beat, Dr. Jane O’Brien led our team to continue to provide hearing care in Haiti. Knowing one steady location had the potential to get rendered unusable by the storm, the team instead got a large SUV to load up supplies and converted it into a mobile hearing health care station.
While always taking every precaution to utilize security and make sure our team remained safe, we traveled across Haiti, staying in the higher elevations through the storm, and worked to provide care to Haitians in need.
“It was amazing to watch the Haitians come out and support one another,” Dr. O’Brien said. “The people there are so resilient and they were nonstop asking how they can help.”
As this was taking place, Jocelyn, one of our Haiti hearing health care workers, knew a large portion of his family was hit by the eye of the storm. As his thoughts and prayers reached out to his family, he also remained dedicated to helping those he could. Everyone on the team continued give Jocelyn all the support they could and all breathed a great sigh of relief when he got the call saying that his family is safe.
Hurricane Matthew wreaked havoc across much of Haiti, sadly yet another destructive event to take place in that country. Our hearts continue to reach out to Haitians in need as we look to the next time we’ll be able to go in and provide care.
“We’ll absolutely be back to Haiti soon,” Dr. O’Brien said.
You can help the people of Haiti, as well as the thousands of other people in need we help around the world by making a donation today. Please go to give.starkeyhearingfoundation.org.
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