I have constructed a letter (below) to people in the Peoria area that may have influence with the policy makers at OSF.
If any of you have contacts with other medical centers around the U.S. that would consider operating on these girls, please notify me.
Pictured is Katina with her father. I will post pictures of Jenny and Heureuse also.
Since 1995, Haitian Hearts has brought over 125 babies, children, and young adults to the United States for surgery. Most of the surgery has been cardiac surgery. Haiti does not have the technology to consistently and reliably support cardiac patients who need sophisticated heart-lung bypass capabilities.
OSF accepted Haitian Hearts patients in the 1990’s and their young lives were made better with the skilled nurses, perfusionists, and physicians in Peoria.
OSF was following their mission statements while Haitian Hearts donated over 1.1 million dollars to OSF-Children's Hospital of Illinois for the medical care offered the Haitian children.
After I was fired from OSF in 2001, the medical center spokesperson informed the Peoria community that Haitian Hearts would continue even though I was terminated. However, in 2002, all funding from OSF for Haitian Hearts was stopped by OSF and the American Consulate in Haiti was notified by OSF to deny any further visas for Haitian Hearts children with cardiac conditions to come to Peoria’s OSF.
In 2003, I was notified by OSF’s legal counsel (Hinshaw-Culbertson) that OSF would not accept any further patients referred by me and this included Haitian Hearts patients. (I was notified again by the same lawyer in 2006 that OSF would continue their Haitian Hearts embargo.)
Unfortunately, two young Haitian men that were operated at OSF in the late 90’s and returned to Haiti, became ill in Haiti. I treated both in Haiti for extended periods of time but both needed further heart surgery to stay alive. Both were denied care at OSF in spite of the wishes of their local central Illinois host families and physicians that advocated for them.
Both patients died without heart surgery. Their Haitian and American families were devastated.
How could this happen?
Now I have three young women Heureuse, Jenny, and Katina that were operated at OSF. All need further heart surgery. If Heureuse dies, she will leave two children less than 5 years old in one of Haiti’s worst slums with no support. (Their father is dead.)
I have the girls on medications that Haitian Hearts brings to Haiti to keep them alive while they await surgery. They are in Haiti awaiting word from me now.
I have not been able to find other medical centers around the United States to accept these patients. Since they have been operated at OSF other medical centers believe that OSF should continue care for their patients. Many reasons are obvious why OSF should allow these girls to return to OSF.
Their Haitian families and American families are praying that OSF will make the beneficent decision for these girls.
Haitian Hearts can offer 5-10,000 dollars for the care of each girl. (A smaller charge by OSF will allow Haitian Hearts to bring further children to the United States.)
Last weeks issue of the Catholic Post in Peoria has two very timely quotes from Pope Benedict that OSF should read carefully:
“Within the community of believers, there can never be room for a poverty that denies anyone what is needed for a dignified life.”
“The responsibility of Christians to work for peace and justice, their irrevocable commitment to build up the common good, is inseparable from their mission to proclaim the gift of eternal life to which God has called every man and woman.”
I respectfully ask you to do all you can to convince OSF to allow their Haitian Hearts patients mentioned above to return to OSF, allow them to have surgery by Peoria’s specialists, and receive a new chance at life.
If you were these girls doctor, mother, or father, would you not be insisting that they receive the best care possible? The best care for them is right here in Peoria at OSF.
Please let me know.
John Carroll, M.D.