Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Isabel has passed

We just received news that Isabel, the Haitian woman with breast cancer, has passed away. We referred her for surgery last June, and MSH took her to the hospital where she saw the surgeon, but she was too scared to have the surgery. She was probably in her late 50's and was the caretaker for her late sister's children. I remember how she cried big tears of anxiety when we saw her; she was frightened.

I wonder what will happen to the children. I'd like to think that the community will step in, but I just don't know Haiti that well to be able to answer that question.

Providing medical treatment in Haiti is frequently challenging. During this past trip we wanted to give a woman an antibiotic injection but she refused because she had "stopped bleeding". In Haiti it's a common belief that you can't have shots when you are menopausal. We managed to convince her otherwise and she got the antibiotic.

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