For over 10 years, Donna Henson has been making medical mission trips to Terrier Rouge alongside orthopedic doctors, nurses, and therapists. This gift of service is a part of who she is and how she conducts her life. Today, Donna is an active part of the Board of Bethlehem Ministry, helping to effect change in Haiti not just on the ground there but from right here in the States.
Here’s her story…
"Over 10 years and 7 visits to Haiti, I've seen a lot of changes in northeast Haiti, but the people are just as warm and welcoming. Better roads, a new airport, and electricity all the way to Terrier Rouge! Clinique Espérance et Vie now has a surgical suite, a pharmacy, and offers treatment and services every day.
Many years ago, on our first orthopedic surgery mission trip, we had to load all of the equipment and supplies onto a truck and take them to a small hospital in Fort Liberte. Only 1 operating room, we cleaned and scrubbed the walls and floors. The hospital had plastic over the windows, a portable air conditioner outside with PVC pipe for air flow, chickens roaming the courtyard, and problems with the autoclave that had us borrowing one from another clinic. Despite the challenges, we operated for 3 days and really made a difference in the lives of the people we served.
The next time we were there, we were able to use the new operating room at Clinique Espérance et Vie that had been converted from an exam room and storage area. Today, we can do surgery, give the patient time to recover, and send them home. Sometimes on the back of a motorcycle!
Each time we go, we see the change. Helping people that could not get advanced treatments or afford care or transportation to treatment. Every day the work continues at Espérance et Vie - mother/baby care, hypertension, tropical disease testing and treatment, eye care for glaucoma and cataracts, and dental care. The Haitian staff of doctors and nurses and lab techs work hard to provide health care for the community and families.
Bethlehem Ministry continues to support and aid the people of Haiti and the medical clinic but the needs are ongoing and urgent. Please visit our website, www.BethlehemMinisty.org for more information on how you can make a difference."
Donna Henson, LPN Athens Orthopedic Clinic