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Orphans International Announces Death of Child, “Love,” in Haiti

Photo: Children of Orphans International Haiti in Gonaïves express their appreciation to the founder’s sister, Molly Larkin, for her generosity, April 2006. Pictured here with program director Jacques Africot.

“Love,” an eight year old boy living at Orphans International Haiti in Gonaïves, passed away unexpectedly this week.

Photo: This precious little boy whose name was “Love” was welcomed into our home in Gonaives following Hurricane Jeanne – on Valentines Day. Credit: Orphans International Worldwide Haiti.

The following was released to the boards and staffs of Orphans International April 18, 2007 by Jim Luce, Founder and Director of Orphans International Worldwide, and Donald W. Hoskins, M.D., President, Orphans International America:

New York, N.Y. We are very sorry to have to report the death of our precious child, Love, age eight, living at Orphans International Haiti in the City of Gonaïves. Love passed away unexpectedly at 2:45 pm on Saturday, April 14, 2007, in the presence of our housemother and volunteer nurse. Funeral arrangements are being made as we write.

Both Jacques Africot, OI Worldwide Officer at OI Haiti, and Serard Gasius, OI Haiti Director, report Love had a normal day in school on Friday followed by afternoon playtime with our other children and his housemother. Love and the children shared dinner together then Love went to bed. Love remained in bed the next morning, limp and unresponsive. The staff immediately called the director and board members, rushing Love to the hospital emergency room where care was both poor and insufficient.

Orphans International America will assume financial responsibility for the funeral, which our children will attend. Members of our Board who had traveled to Haiti and knew Love have written homilies, translated into Creole, which will be read at the funeral. Our staff and volunteers in Gonaïves are working closely with the children to ease them through this emotional crisis.

After extensive questioning and remote evaluation by medical professionals on our Board, we can still only speculate that the cause of death may have been a ruptured brain aneurysm, an unknown cardiac disease, or an aspiration with tracheal blockage. Injury, infectious disease, and food poisoning have been ruled out as best we can. Due to lack of ability by local officials to perform an autopsy, this is the most we can ever know.

The lack of medical treatment received by Love at the E.R. speaks to the desperate needs for better medical facilities in Haiti.  At this point we do not yet have the money to build a health clinic, but we hope to.  Even then, our plans do not include emergency medical care. Long term we would like to address that need as well. For now, we can only focus on the living – and grieving – siblings whom Love has left behind.

Orphans International Announces Death of Child, Love, in Haiti (April 18, 2007)


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