Haitian-American L.A. doc opens clinic in Haiti
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (KABC) -- [Editor's note: Eyewitness News Anchor David Ono and ABC7 Photographer Sean Patrick Lewis arrived Monday in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, to cover events following a 7.0-magnitude earthquake that struck Tuesday, Jan. 12.]
A local surgeon, Dr. Henri Ford, chief of surgery at Childrens Hospital Los Angeles, traveled to Haiti after last week's devastating earthquake. Once he arrived, he set up a portable hospital where he's saving lives daily. The mission is deeply personal for him.
Ford is accomplishing what seems to be impossible: He's helped recreate an entire hospital in the middle of a field. Ford is Haitian. So while he's in this field helping people heal, you wonder if there's anything that can be done to help him heal.
"What you're looking at is an old soccer field that was associated with this university. This is Quisqueya University," said Ford. "This soccer field, where people were playing on it all the time, has been taken over by the people who are essentially becoming disenfranchised following this earthquake."
We're sitting 15 feet up on stone bleachers overlooking utter heartbreak and squalor.
Haiti is Ford's native country. "This is a strange sort of homecoming," said Ford. "I was born in Haiti. I left Haiti just before my 14th birthday to move to the United States. In fact, I lived about a mile, mile and a half away from here. I used to walk around here."
Upon hearing of the devastation, Ford came to Haiti as fast as he could to set up an impressive mobile medical unit and he began to heal people.
As a contrast to all the horrible injuries Ford's makeshift hospital is seeing, they've also delivered six babies, including one just an hour ago.
The good news for these patients is they are finally getting the medical aid they desperately need. The bad news: They have nowhere to go, and that's why they end up here on a soccer field right next door.
"It's absolutely gut-wrenching to see what has happened to this entire community," said Ford.
Ford is an excellent surgeon and a strong leader with a vision for the future. But even he has a hard time envisioning his beloved country recovering from this.
"You talk to the people here, their stories are just beyond belief," said Ford. "It's hard. It's been very hard."
There's something else brilliant that Ford is doing. When he gets a complicated case where a child comes in with an injury, he'll take a picture of that and send that picture back to the doctors in Los Angeles at Childrens Hospital. They will help evaluate the diagnosis. That system is reportedly working brilliantly. Top-of-the-line experts from Los Angeles helping the injured in Haiti.
earthquake, medical emergency, earthquake center, david ono
- Glendale Galleria $85K bracelet thief sought 3 min ago
- Colorado shooting victim dies at hospital
- Reseda shooting suspect ID'ed as Iraq war vet
- Shoppers flock to stores for last-minute gifts 9 min ago
- Compton chase victim remembered by loved ones 44 min ago
- Van Nuys arsonist suspect sought by LAFD
- HB riot suspect sentenced to 12 days in jail
- Man arrested for suspected arson in Oxnard 1 min ago
- US holiday travelers brace for ice and snow
- Astronauts tackle urgent spacewalking repairs
- abcnews: Army's new weapon can shoot down drones
- SUV makers unveil new efficient features
- Amy Adams talks playing sexy con artist
- OTRC: Chuck Norris spoofs Van Damme's 'Epic Split'
- Latest weather with Danny Romero
17 min ago