[Events] FW: Gena Heraty Haiti 3 weeks on

Noreen.Heraty Noreen.Heraty at staffmail.ul.ie
Mon Feb 1 21:23:09 GMT 2010

A chairde

Gena sent the email below this evening and asked that we circulate it. I can find no words to add to it.

-----Original Message-----
From: Gena Heragty [mailto:gheragty at yahoo.com] 
Sent: 01 February 2010 17:38
To: Subject: Kids

Below is something I wrote the other day - to put names to the nameless. Did not get to take the pictures in time to send it with this but that is ok I think cos really i do not feel like invading them with my camera. Please pass it on to all the people yo know that are helping cos I have only included a few people on this list - only because I am not org. enough to have a list of who should get it.

Kay Ste. Germaine,
Sat.30 jan.2010
Finally some quiet - finally some moments  to stop and think about all that has happened since Jan.12 2010. I am tired - physically tired and my spirit is tired. I am in our rehab centre - just beside the hospital. Today I am trying to stay away from the hospital - trying to put some distance from me and the sad realities living over there. My body is here on the couch and yet my mind is there with the children. I see Johanne lying on her bed-seven years of age and she is in a coma. The wall that fell on her head pushed a bone in her skull into her brain and to most people she is dead. The doctor asked me to tell the grand-mother-Meritanne- that they cannot do anything for her and that there is no hope for Johanne to recover. I told him that I would tell the grand-mother that it was unlikely Johanne would recover  BUT I would not say that there is no hope. Where there is life there is hope and how could I take that little hope from this loving
 mother? How could I? Meritanne  has been with her grand-daughter day and night and she knows that she is very sick. She is not expecting a full recovery BUT she sees her alive when many are dead. She has hope that she might recover - even a little bit. Hope is not the same as expectation. Who has the right to take away Meritanne's hope? No one has that right. I understand this doctor - he is a kind man that came to help. He does not want to give the family false hope. I told him he does not have to worry about this BUT we will not take her hope. She is a smart woman and she is realistic. She is a Haitian mother and the Haitian people are a people of hope. Good for her. I share in her hope.
And what of Johanne- one eye open and the other closed shut and who knows what is going on in her mind. When you talk to her and kiss her soft skin, I liked to believe she is aware of it and that the blinking of the eyelid is her way of saying that she is indeed listening. Meritanne  takes comfort from the fact that the "white doctors" - Norma and I (neither of us doctors!) are giving her child so much attention and that we BELIEVE that Johanne is still very much with us. I told everyone in the ward that we have to put a lot of attention on Johanne- that Johanne has to know how much we want her to come out of this coma. Other mothers give encouragement and everyone says the same thing - thousands died, Johanne is alive. There is a reason!
Johanne is one of seven kids. The others are ok -  the house destroyed and they are all living in a nearby park.  They lost all they owned. The grand-mother wonders what will happen if Johanne is discharged. I wonder the same but for now she will not be going anywhere as she is too unwell. Probably you dear Johanne will not be discharged as for sure your family cannot take care of you in the rubble or under the four sheets that is now your home. Dear dear Johanne, in a moment your life is changed forever and there is no point in even beginning to wonder why. I hope, I so dearly hope that we can help you and your family. I hope. I hope. I hope for so much!

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