They say time heals all wounds. It has been 4 years since the 7.0 magnitude earthquake hit Port au Prince and changed the lives of millions forever. While it was unknown how many were lost on January 12, 2010, later results show that at least 200,000 were lost that day or the days following. Millions were left without homes and unaware if their loved ones and friends were alive.
Even in mass chaos, it was imperative for Grace Children’s Hospital to continue services after the destruction of the physical building. Not one day passed without patients being able to seek medical services from programs at Grace. The commitment of the staff was unwavering; these individuals lost loved ones and many of their homes and continued to return to work day after day.
Since the physical structures were no longer inhabitable, Grace had the challenge of determining how to care for patients without an actual building. As tents were gathered and set up, full services began to be conducted on the campus yard. This marked the beginning of the Transitional Phase to the new Grace Children’s Hospital. With the help of World Vision Canada, Containers to Clinics (C2C), Christian Alliance for Humanitarian Aid, Inc., World Medical Relief and countless individuals, ICC was ready to look towards the future of rebuilding Grace Children’s Hospital.
As the years have gone on, there has been much advancement that has gotten ICC ready to look towards a complete rebuild. In place of the tents, today stands the transitional facilities. These structures were constructed across the street from the main hospital, next to the Eye Clinic which withstood the earthquake. In this space, many outpatient services including HIV/AIDS, laboratory and the pharmacy were put into operation. Also included in this location, is the inpatient pediatric wing. Grace Children’s Hospitals 40 plus years of service have revolved around the respiratory care of children and this has remained the focus post quake.
The final stage of the Transitional Phase comes in two parts. First, the land where the hospital once stood had to be cleared of rubble and debris. While this may not seem like a difficult task, remember that Haiti is part of a small, mountainous island. The strategy of where to put this debris reached well beyond ICC. The administration building that remained inhabitable will soon be replaced with a second story addition to the Eye Clinic with funding from American Schools and Hospitals Abroad (ASHA). This finished facility will allow for full demolition of the land.
With the completion of the Transitional Phase, ICC will be able to employ the first part of the Capital Campaign Phase of Grace Children’s Hospital. Stay tuned to Facebook and the Grace Newsletter for regular updates on this plan. For more information on how you can financially assist in the capital campaign, please contact Chad Scott at firstname.lastname@example.org.
So, does time heal all wounds? Or, has Haiti and ICC just started to heal. While it is sad to see the site where GCH once stood, it is exciting to know that there is now room for the new Grace Children’s Hospital to be constructed.
*ICC would like to remember the two staff members and the patient lost in the earthquake. You are all thought of fondly and often.