"My prosthesis is not really a problem for me, the opposite, in fact—I'm proud of it!, explains Maryse. “Without a prosthesis, my life would be much more complicated.” Maryse, 44, was injured in the earthquake that struck Haiti ten years ago, causing her to lose her right leg. Since then, she's held her head high!
Maryse had her right leg amputated two weeks after the earthquake. When she developed a life-threatening infection, doctors were left with no other option. "I thought about my children and realized I couldn't let my amputation end it all. I haven't shed a single tear. I've always looked on the bright side, and I've had a lot of support."
Four months after the operation, Maryse was fitted with her first prosthesis and learned to walk again in a rehabilitation center supported by Humanity & Inclusion. Our team also helped Maryse open a small store. Now, she sells food and charcoal from a small stall outside her home.
For Maryse, life has turned out to be not so different since the earthquake: "It's true, I could run and move faster before, but apart from that, my life is pretty much the same. I manage. I still have my little shop. My children go to school. And best of all, I'm still alive. Of course, I have a disability. But today, my prosthesis has become a real leg—my leg."
When she meets other people with disabilities, she suggests they get fitted with an orthopedic device. Maryse can't imagine life without her prosthesis now. And that's what worries her: "I'm dependent on my prosthesis, and it wears out. It needs to be adjusted regularly. It's always on my mind."
Humanity & Inclusion continues to support Maryse, and in 2019, she was fitted with a new prosthesis.
Haiti's 2010 earthquake
On January 12, 2010, a 7.0-magnitude earthquake devastated Haiti, killing 230,000 people and injuring more than 300,000 others.
In the wake of the disaster, Humanity & Inclusion ramped up its operations, and mobilized about 600 people who deployed unprecedented levels of resources and assistance.
Humanity & Inclusion's impact, by the numbers:
- 90,000 people with rehabilitation care (click here to watch Christella's story!)
- 25,000 people with psychosocial support
- 1,400 people with orthopedic braces or artificial limbs (click here to watch a video of Moise!)
- 5,000+ wheelchairs, crutches and walking frames to people with disabilities
- 1,050 shelters for extremely vulnerable families
- 20,000+ tons of aid for people affected by the disaster
Today, we’re still helping Haitians with disabilities stand tall.
Donate to support our ongoing work.
NOTE: until Jan 2018, Humanity & Inclusion was known as Handicap International.