Stroke of luck

Francois Thimothee receiving medical treatment - Caribbean National Weekly News

Eighty-one-year-old Haitian Francois Thimothee knows all too well the challenge of being in a country where healthcare is in poor condition.

On the morning of June 26, while preparing for church, Thimothee found himself lying on his bathroom floor unable to move and feeling as if he was slammed against the wall.

“Do you remember Hulk Hogan?” Francois asked his daughter as she caressed his face and fought back tears. She was relieved to find him alive and coherent at a local private hospital.

Daughter rushes to father’s side

 Thimothee’s daughter flew in from South Florida last Monday on the only flight to Cap-Haitian, Haiti where he lives. Her father had suffered what appeared to be a stroke. Unable to move his entire left side or speak clearly, the left side of his faced drooped.

“Time is brain” is a common phrase used in the American health care system to emphasize the importance of getting immediate treatment when symptoms of a stroke appear.

With no emergency system in place, Thimothee was driven by neighbors to a private Haitian hospital about 20 minutes away.

Inadequacies of Haitian hospital

At the hospital, there was no diagnostic imaging machinery and no emergency system in place such as a ventilator or crash cart. The hospital was not prepared for such a case.

The only CT Scan (Computerized Tomography) machine available was a seven-hour drive away, making the odds of surviving less than favorable. There was no way to confirm, determine the type of stroke or means of treatment.

Rushed to South Florida hospital

Being in Haiti at the time was an absolute predicament for Francois Thimothee. Fortunately, he’s is a US citizen who lived in Brooklyn, New York for 40 years. He was able to travel to South Florida with his daughter, a Certified Critical Care Registered Nurse. They immediately traveled to Stroke and Level 2 Trauma Center at Broward Health North in Pompano Beach

The fast and efficient care at this facility saved Thimothee’s life. The owner of Belsieda, a nine-room “bed and breakfast” in Cap-Haitian, he is concerned about the inadequate medical system in his country.

“I pray that the leaders of Haiti consider that this can also happen to them and make health care an urgent issue on their agenda,” he said.

Copyright 2017 – Caribbean National Weekly News

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