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Healing the Children

Remembering Haiti

Dr. Don Van Nimwegen leads a surgical team through the streets of destruction in Haiti.

And the world stood still...

We remember our friends - known and unknown - who have been impacted by the devastating earthquake that rocked Haiti just two years ago today, on January 12, 2010. Since that time, Healing the Children Oregon and Western Washington (HTC) has made a small but impactful footprint to help this nation heal.

One person can make a difference, and send the ripples of heart and passion to others who will follow. For HTC that person is Dr. Don.

In 2010, Dr. Don Van Nimwegen was asked by the National office of HTC to scout out opportunities for HTC to send medical teams to Haiti. As it happened, a boy named Schneider who had received heart surgery in Portland, needed to go home to Haiti. Dr. Don and his wife Barbara took Schneider home to his grateful family in February.

Dr. Don meeting with FHED, Inc. and medical volunteers.

Dr. Don met Herns Eugene who is the founder of a non- governmental organization (NGO) named FHED, Inc. which was organized to provide free primary health care to a tent city community of 13,000 people at FHED's Health Care Clinic. In conjunction with FHED, through Don's leadership and the passion of so many doctors and medical professionals (primarily from Group Health), HTC facilitated one surgical team and 7 medical clinic teams. A total of 3,215 children were seen - 725 in the first week! 3,670 adults were served as well. The need was tremendous and the resiliency of Haitian people humbled all they met.

Two Haitian girls wait for clinic in their whitest, best-dressed outfits, so happy to have access to health care.

In 2011, clinic work in Haiti came to a halt, but here in the Pacific Northwest, Dr. Don launched a campaign to raise funds to construct a permanent medical clinic which could also house the volunteer teams. Nearly $35,000 was raised and the clinic (designed by Eco of San Diego) has been finally shipped and is expected to arrive in Haiti this month.

As we remember the second anniversary of the earthquake in Haiti, Dr. Don is busy packing. He departs on January 17th, accompanied by another HTC child from Haiti, Djoubens, who received open heart surgery at Legacy Emanuel Hospital in Portland. While in Haiti, Don hopes to negotiate opportunites for our medical teams to return to Haiti and hopes to see the beginning of construction of the FHED Medical Clinic.

New beginnings ... a time of hope and healing. A testimony to the power of one person making a tremendous difference in the lives of so many.

Happy 2012 to you all from your friends at HTC!

Sincerely,

Ann Anderst
Executive Director
Oregon and Western Washington Chapter

HTC Executive Director Ann Anderst helps Djoubens to swing.

 

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