Say hello to this beautiful, 5-year-old boy from Haiti. He has a chance to live thanks to many caring people coming together at the perfect time from all over the world, including nurses and doctors in our Pediatric Intensive Care Unit in Akron and hospital administration.
Director Dr. Jeffrey Kempf says our Global Health team met him in April during a visit to St. Damien Pediatric Hospital. A coalition partner from Italy successfully performed surgery to correct his heart condition called Tetralogy of Fallot. “But he developed a complication,” Dr. Kempf shared. “His kidneys started to fail. He quickly became the first child in Haiti to receive dialysis, but they ran out of supplies and our mission trip was coming to an end.”
Dr. Kempf called Akron Children’s administration for the approval to fly him back to Akron with the team, which they agreed to. “That decision saved his life. There were no other options for him… Every once in a while we can take care of someone not fortunate enough to live where we live,” Dr. Kempf said humbly.
He was in the PICU (Pediatric Intensive Care Unit) for just 24 hours until his kidneys returned to normal, and then he stayed with nurses and staff who volunteered to host and monitor him in their own homes. “This aspect of his recovery was a bit of a miracle,” Dr. Kempf says.
Dr. Kempf personally “delivered” him to his mom in Haiti a few weeks later and took this photo. “She was so thrilled and said, ‘look how much he has grown!’”
Learn more about the Global Health team’s bi-directional partnership with St. Damien Children’s Hospital in Port-Au-Prince.