Recently a young boy in Pignon, Haiti received The Gift of Mobility through a number of concerned individuals and organizations.
Dr. Arthur Trask, a retired, noted, trauma surgeon, currently living in
Springfield. MO has made frequent medical mission trips to Haiti since
the 1980s. He learned of Matino. The 2006 photo is symbolic of his
condition from birth. He crawled his first nine years. I have been
told that his father died and his mother left him. He has been raised
by an uncle and aunt, Dr. Trask and I shipped him a first-class wheel
chair in 2007. At the time the family lived in a shack. Dr. Trask
ultimately arranged for the family to get a small Habitat for Humanity
house. Along the way, something happened to his first wheelchair and he
acquired a red one, which he wore out. During this period, I arranged
for Matino to be taken to Dr. Paul Farmer’s Clinic in Cange. They could
offer no help.
I learned of the PET Mobility Project about the time that Love A Child
in Haiti got their first shipment of PET carts in 2010, and I arranged
for him to get one. When Jim Scheller delivered it to him, he found
that someone had gotten him one, presumably, through Missionary Flights
International (MFI) in Florida, so we made good use of the PET cart and
several more, to individuals in Pignon needing them.
The terrain in the area Matino lives is very hard on wheelchairs and
PETs. Jim Scheller, a tough and competent, contractor, mechanic, and
compassionate man, has kept Matino’s PET cart operating, rebuilding the
mechanical parts several times. In 2012, we arranged for a new PET cart
through Missionary Flights International, which flies into Pignon. When
it arrived, it was a push model, virtually useless for Matino. Again, Jim
rebuilt the PET.
In September 2014 The MTI-Advantage Program in Haiti was able to pass
along one of the new adult PET carts, enabling Matino to again have
mobility and be lifted from the dirt. This is not the end of The Matino Story.
The best is yet to come. The PET Mobility Project has and is playing a valuable
role in this story.
THANKS to all of you.