A Story of Hope and Inspiration in Haiti

By Tyler Marshall - January 27, 2010 - Port-au-Prince, Haiti

Two weeks after Haiti’s great tragedy, stories of hope and inspiration speak to the resilience of the national character.  

Consider Fabienne, a prima ballerina for a national theatre renowned for performances anchored in the country’s rich folklore. Fabienne’s left leg was crushed under falling concrete during the Jan. 12th earthquake and she had to have it amputated below the knee.

Her attending physician, International Medical Corps volunteer doctor William Gregory from Los Angeles, says the initial healing is going well and just two weeks later Fabienne was getting her first lessons in using crutches and “relearning how to distribute her balance so she can eventually walk.”

But for Fabienne, whose face is more often that not lit up by a radiant smile, walking is just a half-way point to her real goal: she is determined to dance again.

“I will do this,” she said with a voice that carried not an ounce of doubt. Dr. Gregory thinks that, once comfortable with a prosthetic, she can make it.

“Absolutely,” he said. “I’ve seen entire dance troupes of amputees. Once she regains her sense of balance and learns how to redistribute her weight, she’ll do fine. She’s young and she’s got a great attitude.”