A young Black girl with a cast on her leg stands on crutches while a physical therapist holds her arm at a hospital in Haiti

Team provides rehabilitation care for family injured by earthquake

Humanity & Inclusion’s physical therapy reinforcements taught rehabilitation exercises and distributed mobility aids to Stephanie, 12, and her aunt after they were injured when their home collapsed during the Aug. 14 earthquake.

Stephanie and her aunt Valerie are among dozens of patients being treated at the OFATMA hospital in Les Cayes.

Stephanie was inside her house when a trembling wall fell and fractured her tibia. Valerie rushed from outside to save Stephanie, severely injuring her foot in the process. Neither has been able to walk on their own since the incident.

The pair are receiving care from the Humanity & Inclusion team and physical therapists brought in by its rehabilitation partner FONTEN. The team has given them new crutches and taught them how to walk without causing further damage.

Stephanie also learned to practice exercises while her leg is in a cast for six weeks. This will prevent her toes, knee and ankle from developing any long-term consequences caused by her 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 physical therapists regularly throughout her healing process, and with the proper practices, she will be walking again in no time.

Stephanie is eager to get back to her old life and hobbies. She is in level 3 at school, where writing is her favorite subject. Outside of school, she enjoys singing and hopes to become a doctor one day “to help other people with broken legs.”

Image: Stephanie practices walking on crutches with help from physical therapist Frédia at a hospital in Les Cayes. Copyright: Rawley Crews/HI

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