August 18, 2021, Update:
On August 17th, 4 year-old Robeson’s condition worsened rapidly and he was evacuated by helicopter to Bernard Mevs Hospital in Port au Prince for further treatment. He was accompanied by his father. We are currently in communication with the mother and other children and plan to provide food support.
Interview with Mother at St. Antoine Hospital, Jérémie
The setting is a hospital triage ward at St. Antoine Hospital, where there are many beds with wounded children rescued from resulting from the fallen debris during the earthquake. In the days after the earthquake, Bette Gebrian, Executive Director of GAHDA, spent several hours at the St. Antoine Hospital speaking with doctors, administrators, and patients, including this mother and her son. This is Bette speaking on August 15, 2021, with one worried mother:
Interviewer (Bette) to a mother (I): Madam, what happened to Robeson?
Mother (M): During the tremors, I ran to get my other child who was in bed under the mosquito net, and I looked and looked and saw blocks of concrete falling. I had just the time to run and save the other child. Then I looked for another child. I asked another person to hold my child while I looked for a third. As I looked, and looked, I fell and a block fell on me. Then I managed to remove the debris that were on the child.
(I): Where do you live?
(M): My house is in town at Sténio Vincent.
(I): Then what did you do?
(M): I (hired) a motorcycle then ran to come here.
(I): Did you come on a moto?
(M): Yes, on a moto.
(I): Do you have other children?
(M): Yes, I have other children here.
(I): How old are the other children?
(M): The other child will soon be one.
(I): And this child?
(M): (looking at the one near her) He is three years old.
(I): And the other? Do you only two children?
(M): The other will soon be eight.
(I): Is your mother with you?
(M): Yes, with her husband.
(I): How many more children do you have?
(M): Another child is nine months old.
(I): Nine months?
(M): Yes, a baby.
(I): You don’t have big enough breasts (to feed them all)?
(M): (smiling holding on to her breasts) Yes, I do.
(I): Thank you madam for the good work that you do in taking good care of your children.
Thank you to Leslie G. Desmangles, PhD, for translation of the interview.