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Healing the Children

Members of Haitian Soccer Team Visit Hospital in San Antonio

San Antonio, Texas - Recently Mary Ullmann Japhet , Associate Executive Director for San Antonio Sports, had the privilege of accompanying a few Haitian National Soccer team players to Christus Santa Rosa Children’s Hospital to visit two beautiful 10-year-old Haitian girls, Naika and Bethlie. Healing the Children helped secure medical treatment in the US for Naika and Bethlie after it was apparent that they both sustained serious injuries to their legs during the earthquake that needed immediate care. The shy girls’ little faces lit up when these big, strong athletes walked into the room. Right away, the guys pulled up some chairs to sit at their level and visit with them. Ullmann said, "Though I couldn’t understand everything that was being said, it was obvious that both the players and the girls were enjoying themselves."

The girls have been very picky about their food and have actually lost weight in the hospital, so the players made a bargain with them to come back if they’d start eating properly. The girls need to rebuild their strength and bribery may just work!

When it was time to leave, Bethlie burst into tears. Ullmann said, "In seconds, we were all crying. To see these amazing world-class athletes, many of whom have their own little girls back home living in tents, crying without reserve was humbling. These people have lost so much and yet their spirit remains strong." The players thanked everyone, over and over, for caring for the girls and for providing for them.

Ullmann continued, "As we walked to the elevator, their coach hugged one of the players who was still crying and reminded the team that the people of Haiti, like these girls, look up to them. He said that they need to remember how much their national team means to all of Haiti. I know these young men will carry Naika, Bethlie and all their Haitian countrymen in their hearts as they compete. I’m honored to have had this brief opportunity to witness such kindness, generosity and spirit."

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