- Shoe-bomb witness to speak from London at N.Y. trial
- New evidence could threaten Army sex assault case
- George Zimmerman signs autographs at Orlando gun show
- GOP lawmaker faces fire for NBA crime tweet
- Taliban vow to ‘use all force’ to disrupt Afghan elections
- Atheists sue to remove ‘Ground Zero Cross’ from 9/11 museum
- Bishop in Aleppo: ‘We Christians live in fear in Syria’
- Oscar Pistorius vomits during graphic testimony
- Toronto Mayor Rob Ford flubs daylight saving time advice: ‘Turn your clocks back’
- Americans don’t support sending U.S. troops to Ukraine
Haiti quake survivor returns home after 6 months
Friends arrived and lifted Suy into a car, heading down bumpy streets, first to a public plaza several miles away where victims were being taken. His family found him there on the ground and took him to a hospital where conditions were filthy and the only treatment consisted of occasional painkillers. Eventually he was moved to a tent clinic outside Sacre Coeur Hospital in Port-au-Prince.
Ivankovich was incredulous. Under normal circumstances, patients with spinal-cord injuries would be immediately strapped to a backboard to immobilize the spine and avoid additional nerve damage. Most would then go straight to surgery.
And 10 days had passed since the quake.
“I said, ‘Are you out of your mind?’” Ivankovich recalled.
Ivankovich, an irreverent, 7-foot-tall surgeon used to treating poor patients from the inner city, had just arrived in Haiti with a medical team. Like his idol, Johnny Cash, the doctor wears black _ from his leather cowboy hat and boots to gaudy onyx rings and black diamond ear studs.
It’s an honor, he says, to help the downtrodden. And he shares that passion with his young patient.
Suy was born poor in southern Haiti and sent as a boy to live with an aunt in Port-au-Prince and attend school. He was one of the lucky ones. More than half the population lived in poverty even before the quake left more than 1 million homeless. About 40 percent of Haitian adults are illiterate, and almost half of Haitian children don’t attend school.
Deeply religious, Suy loves his country but hates its poverty. A few years ago, he formed an advocacy group named GRRANOH, a French acronym meaning roughly “group for ideas, research and action for redirecting Haiti.” Its volunteers have tutored orphans, fed the homeless, visited hospital patients and raised awareness about Haiti’s needs.
“He doesn’t have much but with the little he has, he wants to help people,” said his girlfriend, Jeanna Volcy.
In the chaos of post-quake Haiti, Ivankovich was equipped to handle amputations and fractures, not spinal cord injuries. Nor was the damaged hospital in any position to host spinal surgery. Suy, meanwhile, had pressure sores on his back from lying prone for more than a week, and the risk of infection was grave.
When Ivankovich mentioned he would be going back to Chicago, the frightened young man pleaded with him.
“Take me with you,” he cried, in halting English.
The doctor in black could not turn away. Ivankovich worked with U.S. authorities to help secure a humanitarian visa. Sixteen days after the quake, he flew to Chicago in an air ambulance. It was Suy’s first trip out of Haiti.
TWT Video Picks
Taxpayers must pay the freight for over-budget train projects
- Kim Jong-un calls for execution of 33 Christians
- Senate Democrats, Republicans spar over restoring unemployment benefits
- CURL: Today's GOP really is Reagan's 'Big Tent' party
- Mitch McConnell on beating tea party: 'We are going to crush them'
- Rand Paul wins 2014 CPAC straw poll, Ted Cruz finishes a distant second
- Arrest made in Ohio bar shooting that killed 3
- SAUERBREY: Taxing Marylanders until they flee
- As Crimea falls, Obama takes Key Largo golf vacation, Biden hits Virgin Islands
- Charges filed against accused 'shadow campaign' financier
- Bill Clinton poses for photo with Bunny Ranch prostitutes
Pope Francis meets his 'mini-me'
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Winter storm hits states — again