Prosthetics groups promise help in a land where disability can mean death
By JoNel Aleccia
updated 8:30 a.m. ET, Thurs., Jan. 28, 2010
By the time 4-year-old Schneily Similien’s parents got him to a doctor, it was too late to save his left leg.
The Haitian boy was hurt in the Jan. 12 magnitude-7 earthquake that killed at least 200,000 people and injured at least that many more. As the ground shook his family’s Port-au-Prince home, pieces of concrete ceiling came down on Schneily and his mother, Darline Similien, a 37-year-old kindergarten teacher. One large chunk crushed the child’s leg.
But after five days of searching in vain for medical care, the family had to travel to Good Samaritan Hospital in Jimani, about 45 miles away in the Dominican Republic. There, doctors had to choose between preserving the boy’s limb — or saving his life.
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