12-year old Stephanie sits next to her aunt Valerie at the OFATMA hospital in Les Cayes, weeks after the earthquake devastated the region. The two are among the dozens of people in the same ward that were injured by the collapse of their home on August 14th.
When the earthquake struck, Stephanie was inside her house as a wall fell and fractured her tibia. Her aunt Valerie was outside when the shaking began, but rushed inside to save Stephanie, severely injuring her foot on falling concrete in the process. Neither has been able to walk on their own since the incident.
Humanity & Inclusion's team is providing rehabilitation support
Both Stephanie and her aunt are receiving care from the HI team and physiotherapists brought in by HI and its partner FONTEN (Fondation Tous Ensemble). The team has given them new crutches and taught them how to walk without causing further damage.
Stephanie is also learning to practice isolated exercises while her leg is in a cast for the next six weeks. This will prevent her toes, knee and ankle from developing any long-term consequences as a result of immobility.
“I’m happy that I can walk on crutches now,” Stephanie says. “I don’t like being carried around, and now I can be independent again.”
She will continue to see the physiotherapists regularly throughout her healing process, and with the proper practices, she will be walking again in no time.
After two weeks in the hospital, Stephanie is eager to get back to her old life and hobbies. She is in level 3 at school, where writing is her favourite subject. Outside of school, she enjoys singing and hopes to become a doctor one day “to help other people with broken legs.”