A Nurse Who’s More Than a Nurse to Children in Haiti #HelptheHelpers

Nurse Nancy is a front-line healthcare worker, going beyond caring for skinned knees and stomach aches to evaluate students and connect them with a nearby hospital if needed. (Bryn Blanks/Direct Relief photo)

By Monday morning, it was clear from the painful swelling in Don’s face that something was wrong. The fifth grader’s jaw and cheek had become painfully swollen over the weekend from an untreated tooth abscess.

The boy walked to his school in Mirebalais, Haiti, where access to healthcare is out of reach for most people. Instead of sending him to a hospital that morning, care that his family couldn’t afford, Don’s grandmother sent him to find help at his school, L’Ecole de Choix.

School was exactly the right place to go in his condition; that is all thanks to the school’s nurse.

Nurse Nancy is indispensable to the school, where she works full-time to ensure that students have access to medical expertise and preventative care on a regular basis – a luxury that few receive in Haiti.
Don’s swelling turned out to be easily treatable, thanks to Nurse Nancy.

Far more than a nurse, Nancy is family to the students, who bombard her daily with belly-aches, real and imaginary, just to say hello. This allows her to keep a consistent eye on the children, and enables detection and treatment of medical issues that would otherwise go unnoticed.

Nancy also takes on the responsibility of working with the families to register every student with the local hospital.

Direct Relief has been supporting L’Ecole de Choix since its doors opened a year after the devastating earthquake struck in 2010. To date, Direct Relief has provided the school with more than $30,000 worth of essential medical resources and supplies.

Choix serves children and families living in conditions of extreme poverty in Haiti. With a focus on quality education and leadership development, the school focuses on empowering students to develop their own choices and ultimately change the world. (Bryn Blanks/Direct Relief photo)

A series of fundraising activities paid Nurse Nancy’s salary for the past two years, with a commitment to continue support for the foreseeable future.