Stephanie sits beside her crutches, with a smile on her face

From injury to ambition

Twelve-year old Stephanie sits next to her aunt Valerie at the OFATMA hospital in the Cayes, weeks after an earthquake devastated that region of Haiti. The two are among the dozens of people in the same ward that were injured by the collapse of their home on August 14th.

Stephanie was inside her house when a wall fell and fractured her leg. Her aunt Valerie was outside when the shaking began, but rushed inside to save Stephanie, severely injuring her foot on broken concrete in the process. Neither has been able to walk on their own since the incident.

With support from Canadians through the Humanitarian Coalition, both Stephanie and her aunt are receiving care from the Humanity and Inclusion team and its partner FONTEN (Fondation Tous Ensemble). The team has given them new crutches and taught them how to walk without causing further damage.

Stephanie is also learning to do exercises while her leg is in a cast for the next six weeks. This will prevent her toes, knee and ankle from developing any long-term consequences as a result of immobility.

“I’m happy that I can walk on crutches now,” Stephanie says. “I don’t like being carried around, and now I can be independent again.” She will continue to see the physical therapists regularly throughout her healing process, but after two weeks in the hospital, Stephanie is eager to get back to her old life and hobbies.

She will return to school, where writing is her favourite subject. Outside of school, she enjoys singing and hopes to become a doctor one day “to help other people with broken legs.”