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Haiti Success Story: Lereste

by User Not Found | May 08, 2014

We are so excited to share with you how your gifts to our Haiti programs are truly transforming lives.

Thanks to your donations, Medical Teams International recently was able to hold a mobile medical clinic in La Sucrerie, a rural community near Les Cayes in Haiti.  A mobile medical clinic is a vehicle equipped with WHO-recommended medicines and medical supplies as well as tables and chairs for patient registration and care.  The clinic will set up with tents or use an empty building.  As part of our Haiti Advantage Program, this clinic was held specifically to treat disabilities.

Forty-eight people came to this particular clinic. As in previous therapy clinics, most people had never consulted or been treated by therapists due to lack of knowledge regarding rehabilitation services or due to lack of access to services.

Lereste, a 49-year-old man, was among those who visited this clinic. At the age of 25, Lereste, was in a serious car accident and was in a coma for 20 days. Though he was in the hospital, he did not receive proper evaluative care, such as radiographic evaluation. After waking from the coma, he slowly began to move and eventually walk, though he suffered much pain in his back and legs. He had no money for additional medical attention and thought he would always live with the pain and difficulty in walking.  For half of his life, Lereste has suffered daily.

He arrived at MTI-Advantage Program mobile clinic leaning heavily on the crutches he found necessary to help him walk. His trunk was severely bent forward, and he complained of sharp pain in his leg when walking. The staff evaluated his legs and noted a significant difference in leg length and reduced motion in his back and legs and reduced strength. He showed signs of significant malnutrition. The staff made arrangements for Lereste to come to the clinic for a more thorough evaluation. He was sent to the local hospital for radiographs that showed signs of a previous hip fracture, leg fracture, pelvis displacement, decreased bone density and extreme lower back osteoarthritis. The staff had the information they needed to start a therapy program.

Lereste at Physical Therapy


He started specific flexibility and strengthening exercise and was provided with tennis shoes and a custom shoe lift to correct his leg length difference. After receiving regular therapy, his motion and strength improved to the point that crutches are no longer necessary for walking!  His face beams with excitement because he can now walk without severe pain. Though he still walks with a limp, he is able to move about in his community and is so happy to be able to visit he neighbors and go to church. Lereste never misses a therapy appointment and tells everyone what a difference treatment has made in his life.

Thanks to your generosity, Lereste received simple interventions, which transformed his life. Without you, he would never have know the freedom he experiences today. Thank you for your support of our Haiti programs!