Our Executive Director Angel Aloma recently spent a week in Haiti where he visited a hospital run by Lebanese twin surgeons, Jerry and Marlon Bitar, who gave up a life of luxury in Paris for a lifetime of helping the destitute poor in Port au Prince. It was there that Angel experienced one of the most moving moments of the trip.
Once upon a time, 12 years ago to be precise, a desperate young mother abandoned her baby in a garbage heap. A good Samaritan was walking nearby and heard the desperate, blood-curdling screams of an infant. He ran in the direction of the noise and he could not believe the horror of what he saw!
The good Samaritan saw the infant lying on the garbage heap, with a pig seemingly attached to him. The pig had eaten the infant’s right foot and was working his way up the little leg. The man chased the pig away and grabbed the infant and ran quickly to the hospital we visited. The twin doctors performed an emergency amputation to mid-calf on the baby and saved his life.
He was a sweet baby with fat cheeks (the type that you just want to pinch!) and deep dimples. The doctors and nurses all fell in love with him. He healed well and around that time, I made a trip to Haiti and visited the hospital. They told me the story and I was shocked and teary-eyed. I held him in my arms and pinched his cheek.
By right, the baby should have been placed in an orphanage when he healed, but he so became part of the family at the hospital that they couldn’t bear to send him away. Especially one nurse who truly fell in love with him and was heart-broken at the thought of his leaving. She adopted him! He has become the most important thing in her life. She never had any children and she and her husband had separated. She now was no longer alone.
She still works at the hospital and she brought him to meet us! The nurses at the hospital had called him “Moise” (because, like Moses, he had been saved as an infant from certain death). Moise is a sweet, thin, handsome 12-year old with incredible dimples! Although he has lost his baby fat, I pinched his cheek for old times’ sake. He has been fitted with a number of prosthesis as he grows and you would never know (with long pants) that he is missing that limb.
The bond of love between Moise and his mother is like tempered steel. It pleased my heart to see him and to see them together. Ah, the incredible power of love!!