L A Pierre was 14 years old back in April of 2014 when we met him in Haiti. His father had anxiously waited for months for the next time I was going to be in Haiti. He brought him to see me after being in different hospitals throughout Port au Prince without any success or hope. He was a normal child, very smart and working well in school according to his father until suddenly, he started to lose his ability to articulate his words, droop in one side of the face with associated weakness and loss of balance (just like someone who has had a stroke). The symptoms started insidiously and progressed rapidly within October and November of 2013 and deteriorated by April. Since LA comes from a hard working family, he was fortunate enough that his family was able to afford the cost for the CT scan in Port au Prince where he was found to have a brain stem mass. The doctors in Haiti told the father that the mass is inoperable and to be honest with him, there was not much that they could do about his son’s case.
By the time he was seen in our clinic a few months later in April, 6 months later, he could only mumble a few words, required help to walk and sit down. Back from Haiti, it took a week to find the connection we needed. Thanks to the neurosurgeon from the Kansas University who arranged to meet him in Haiti, L A was led to a team in the Dominican who performed the surgery. He received radiation therapy and now is going back to school . He continues to have follow up appointments in the Dominican Republic for his ventriculoperitoneal shunt assessment. Locally, he continues to have physical therapy in Port au Prince to regain his physical capacities. We are thankful for our collaborators and the opportunity to connect LA to the help he needed.