World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims happens every third Sunday of November to honor victims of road traffic crashes and their families. Here at HAS, the day could not be more relevant. With road improvements following the earthquake, more motorcycles and cars crowd the roads, and the number of trauma cases is on the rise. HAS is treating many more patients than ever before with traumatic injuries.
Meet Paulene. At just 19 years old, her young life took an unexpected turn a month ago, when she went to the market to help her mother get the groceries for the week. Once she had found everything she needed, she hopped on a motorcycle taxi – a very common form of public transportation in Haiti. As her driver turned a corner, another motorcycle collided into Paulene’s vehicle, knocking her from the motorcycle and breaking her leg and foot in several places.
“I came directly to HAS because it is the only place around here that could fix me,” Paulene says. Upon arrival, she was admitted and quickly sent for x-rays. When the surgeons saw how many fractures she had, they knew she would need a cast running from her foot all the way above her knee to immobilize it all. Paulene spent six days in the surgery unit before she was stable enough to go home, and she has come back since for follow-up appointments. “I have to wear this cast for a few more weeks, but I am happy because I know it’s healing. Once I am better, I can go back to school,” she says with a smile.