Gérard Auguste and César Marie Malene are the loving parents of three children. Formerly a waitress and cultivator, respectively, Gérard and César are currently full-time parents who sell mangoes on the side for money. During a recent health follow-up for César, one of our clinicians offered to check each child’s heart rate before leaving. Upon doing this check-up, he noticed that Gérard and César’s youngest child, Malika Benoit, had an unusual sounding heartbeat.
At our clinician’s suggestion, four-year-old Malika was transferred to our next clinic. There, doctors noticed an issue with one of her heart valves and determined she would likely need a heart valve transplant.
Moving forward, Gérard and César would need to schedule an echocardiogram to verify the diagnosis and, depending on the result, arrange Malika’s surgery. Because of the family’s limited finances and the recent closure of the nearby charitable hospitals, completing this process would be nearly impossible.
Since Malika’s operation would cost thousands of dollars, the only plausible option for Gérard and César is to closely manage their daughter’s life. Because her health is in jeopardy, Malika will not be able to play sports or do strenuous activities. This is especially difficult for Gérard and César because they consider their children’s health the most important part of their lives.
Before we left their home, Gérard and César, emphasized that “In Haiti, this country is so hard. We don’t have anyone to help us with our kids. School is too expensive and we have a hard time just being able to feed them. It is a real problem”.