In January of 2010, a 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck Haiti. Many Haitians were evacuated and flown to Tampa Bay to receive top of the line medical treatment. While in the hospital recovering from their injuries, a vivacious, all American girl in high heels who spoke no creole walked into the rooms of Haitian patients who had lost their limbs in the earthquake. Although they did not understand each other’s languages, they were connected.
Abby Wold, an Amputees Together board member and peer visitor, lost both of her legs below the knee in 2003 due to Meningococcal Meningitis. She knew the struggles that were ahead for those who had lost their limbs. Abby visited those patients many more times throughout their stay at Tampa General Hospital bringing hope for a new future.
Abby is deeply involved in the lives of those who have now physically recovered from the earthquake. The children are learning English quickly and doing well in school. The adults are attending English classes and are hoping to find jobs that would allow them to extend their visas. For both Abby and her new “family”, they know that this will be a lifelong connection that goes beyond limb loss.
For the full story please visit http://www.tampabay.com/features/humaninterest/article1123897.ece. For more information on peer visits please visit www.AmputeesTogether.org.