Help Monica "go" like a big girl

Monica is 3 years old and lives in Haiti.  She was born without an anal opening and had emergency surgery as a newborn infant to create an opening on her side (stoma) to give waste some place to go.  She has lived with this all of her young life because her mother can’t possibly afford the surgery to correct it.  Her mother does not have a steady income and struggles to feed her family.  All things considered Monica’s mom has done a very good job keeping the stoma site clean and covered with cloth, but Monica’s condition is limiting her potential.  Her growth and vitality are limited by what she can eat, Monica must stay home near mom to have her stoma cared for and she won’t be able to go to school without corrective surgery. 

We first met Monica in February 2015 while doing a mobile medical clinic near Monica’s home near Morne Masson-Sion.  Getting medical care for her has been extremely difficult, but we could not give up on this little girl!  It took seven months of looking in Haiti and in the U.S. to find a surgeon to do the surgery.  We finally found a surgeon at St. Damien’s in Haiti.  We have people on the ground in Haiti who can speak the language and accompany Monica and her mother to appointments. 

Monica had the first of two surgeries on November 26th, 2015 (specifically "anorectal imperforation with a recto vaginal fistula").  She has been at the hospital for therapy ever since.  We have asked repeatedly for a cost estimate.  The hospital has been very good about updating us on her condition, but has not given us a dollar amount.  We have even had someone from the U.S. go to the hospital to check on her while they were visiting Haiti.  Her second surgery is drawing near and while we wait for a bill from the hospital, we have estimated the cost of her surgery based on other similar surgeries in Haiti at $1,500 to $2,000.  (Yes, that is correct, we did not forget a zero.  A splash in the bucket for the developed world, but it might as well be $1 million for Monica's mom.)

Donations are going to The Haitian Community of MN who will get the money to Monica at St. Damien's in Haiti.  This is a public charity in MN and donations are eligible for tax deduction.  (Consult your tax advisor.)

Members of the Haitian Community of MN and others will be traveling to Haiti in February.  During the trip we will be visiting Monica at St. Damien’s and hope to be able to get the funding for her surgeries in order.

This has been a long and difficult endevour, but worth the effort to give little Monica a normal future and the ability to finally go potty like a big girl!

Photos: Monica at St. Damien's after her first surgery.  Monica showing her stoma.
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Rose Gbadamassi 
Minneapolis, MN

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