The beginning of a more promising life

by Hanns-Georg Heidecker/RBU, 2010/03/22

Actually, Dr Hanns-Georg Heidecker is a radiologist. Since the middle of February he has been in Haiti in the framework of a humedica mission. However, he is not practising his profession as a doctor, but he is working as medical coordinator. His work is focussed on planning and realising a mobile workshop for prosthetics. In this report he describes what else he does to support the mission.

„It seemed that the apathetical boy did no longer have a family and the young people living in his neighbourhood told us that he had formerly lived in a shack which had been destroyed during the earthquake.

The humedica coordinators took the apathetical boy to a hospital where he could spend the night. Photo: humedica/Hanns-Georg Heidecker

For a long time we wondered whether we could leave the boy at such a place in his current condition and we finally decided: no, we cannot. But still we did not know where to take him.

However, it was clear that at first we had to take his clothes off and wash him a little, since it seemed that he had urinated into his clothes and that he was not able to wash himself without assistance. The smell was not particularly pleasant and an increasing number of curious onlookers assembled around us. Some of them were laughing, some made stupid jokes, others made dramatic gestures and covered their mouths and noses with cloths.

I asked them to bring us a bucket full of water, but sadly hardly anyone did react. Finally, however, someone brought us some water and we led the cleaned boy to our car. I cut off the sleeves of my long-sleeved T-shirt in order to make some make-shift trousers of it. Both my colleague Simon and I were gravely disappointed and sad about the behaviour of the majority of onlookers.

We did not simply want to leave and therefore Simon asked his driver calmly, but firmly to translate the following words, the sense of which I will try to report: “You, people, you might wonder what we are doing here? We are helping one of yours. Haitians, you are brothers and sisters, you know each other and nevertheless you allow that this boy sits here like this. Some of you may think this is funny, I think it is sad.

After a drive of several hours, we finally found a sleeping place for the boy. Photo: humedica/Simon Gelzenleuchter

We are coming from Germany in order to help the people in Haiti, but you, you don’t help each other. What do you think Jesus would have done? Would he have stood here and simply have watched? Or would he have helped? I am not angry with you, but it makes me sad. I thank those who have brought us the water, the others of you may think about their behaviour once more.”

Probably nobody cared about these words, but we could get on our way with the boy with our minds at least a little more at ease. Unfortunately, also this next step resulted to be more difficult than we had expected. After several tries, we had finally managed that the boy could spend the night at the children’s’ ward at a hospital. And for the next day, we had finally found a solution.”

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