This is Preslet. He’s a 12 year old boy in our community (Grande Goave, Haiti) who was severely burnt 4 months ago. I met him last month when the last medical team was here. The doctor made a house-call to visit Preslet as his mom doesn’t want him to leave the house as she doesn’t want him to be seen in this condition. The details of how he got burnt comes in several versions but the simple version says there was a domestic dispute that got ugly, really ugly.
I wanted to share this story with you for a few reasons.
First of all, the first “meeting” with Preslet is ingrained in my mind & it will hopefully stay vivid as a reminder to me. He hadn’t had visitors since being burnt, other than a few family members, so a bunch of white people entering his house was overwhelming. As we walked into his room I watched his face as he scanned the group… as soon as he met my gaze his eyes lit up! I had no idea why but his reaction made me join him on the bed & I started chatting while the doctors looked him over. It turned out I wasn’t a stranger to him… we used to talk regularly when I walked to the market. He was so excited to see me! As we left his house I was blown away by how God had prepared our friendship long ago, in passing smiles & seemingly meaningless chitchat, for a relationship that would help him as he recovers from this horrific experience. I visited him several more times before coming back to Canada. My lesson in this is to be open to the small opportunities as they may be the start of something much larger!
Secondly, I wanted to share this because this may be one of those small opportunities for you to get involved & help someone who desperately needs it. Preslet’s burns are healing very well & his mom has done an amazing job at keeping them clean. Once the burns are healed completely he should be a good candidate for operations that would stretch his skin (there’s probably some official medical term for this but you get the idea) to allow his joints to move freely again. His right elbow, armpit & neck are the most affected areas. When I go back to Haiti (late August) I’d like to give Preslet’s mom some money to help cover his hospital bills – he was in the General Hospital in Port-au-Prince for almost 3 months! – and when the burns are healed I’d like to help connect him with a doctor that could do, or assist with, the operations. We will have medical teams going to Haiti regularly so a doctor with this specialty could be part of one of those teams. If you would like to help please let me know.