Stories of Success in Haiti: Viola (Part 1/5)

January 6, 2011
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Reading Time: 2 minutes

As we count down to the one-year anniversary of the earthquake that devastated Haiti, we’d like to reflect on the stories of the individuals we’ve helped recover and rebuild their lives.  This series of posts includes the stories of people who have been able to recover from the biggest catastrophe in their country’s history.

As we count down to the one-year anniversary of the earthquake that devastated Haiti, we’d like to reflect on the stories of the individuals we’ve helped recover and rebuild their lives.  This series of posts includes the stories of people who have been able to recover from the biggest catastrophe in their country’s history.

Viola

Viola Saint Fleur is 32 years old. She had a small road-side business and was on the road when the earthquake started. She fell down when the shaking began, and a building crumbled on top of her. She faded in and out of consciousness for several hours, and was taken to the hospital by community volunteers, where she finally woke up.

The doctors at the hospital informed Viola that her leg was severely damaged and they had no choice but to amputate it. She was extremely shocked and upset. Viola did not receive any support from her partner, who left her after her amputation. While he sends money to help with their 9-year-old daughter’s school fees, he’s not providing any other support.

Unable to walk, Viola was not able to work at her road-side business, and had no way to generate income to care for herself and her daughter. Each day is a struggle for Viola and her child.
Then, a neighbor told Viola about BRAC’s Limb and Brace Center. After her first visit, she thought, “They will give me the ability to walk. … I was happy.”

Two weeks later, Viola had a brand new prosthetic leg, designed out of durable material that is easy to clean and maintain. She practiced walking on her new leg, which felt heavy at first, and gradually grew accustomed to it.

Soon after, Viola was back to work. “I do the same business as before,” she says. “I have no problem.”

Now, instead of worrying about how to provide for her family, Viola spends her free time playing with her daughter. She hopes that her daughter will grow up to be a doctor, so she can help people, too.

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