THE STORY OF
HÔPITAL SAINT GABRIEL DE LASCAHOBAS
You might be wondering how The Gift of Sight began working in Lascahobas, Haiti? Well, the story began over 50 years ago with a woman named Estelle Dubuisson.
Estelle is from the rural town of Lascahobas, Haiti. When the farming community was hit hard by economic downturn, Estelle emigrated to New York and began a career as a medical technician. When she returned to Haiti for a visit, she was devastated by the state of her community. Families suffered from malnutrition, children were ravaged by worms, and most couldn't afford routine medical care nor emergency treatment, because of the long and relatively costly trip to the nearest hospital.
1 DOCTOR MADE 1 ANNUAL VISIT TO LASCAHOBAS, IN CHARGE OF SERVICING OVER 50,000 PEOPLE!
Estelle made it her mission to bring medical services to Lascahobas. She founded Friends of the Children of Lascahobas, Haiti an organization that provides healthcare, health education, and economic cooperative opportunities for the people of Lascahobas. When Estelle began recruiting American doctors to brave the trip to rural Haiti, it wasn't long before she came in touch with ophthalmologist and philanthropist Dr. John Mitchell in New York. Estelle quickly recruited him, and Dr. Mitchell became FCLH's first Medical Director, with unwavering support of the cause.
Years later, Dr. Mitchell brought his friend and colleague, Dr. Kenneth Westfield on board. As soon as Dr. Westfield saw the great need in Lascahobas, he was committed to volunteering every year along with likeminded colleagues, and he's continued to do so for over 30 years. Eventually, the effort of these trips became our formal medical non-profit, The Gift of Sight.
IT QUICKLY BECAME APPARENT TO EVERYONE THAT WHAT LASCAHOBAS NEEDED WAS A FACILITY WHERE PEOPLE COULD SEEK CARE YEAR AROUND.
Patients who underwent life-changing surgeries and treatments lacked follow-up care, and those in need at times when the doctors weren't present suffered. So, Estelle and our team began planning for just such a facility and slowly raised the funds for its materials and construction. In 2003, the hospital was complete. We envisioned a place where not only the people of Lascahobas would receive care, but one where Haitian medical students and practitioners could also receive training and hands-on experience while working in an area of need, thus empowering Haitians to end a long history of neglect.
After the earthquake in 2010, many Haitians fled the devastated city of Port Au Prince to rural, surrounding areas. That year at the hospital, our volunteer doctors saw patients with extreme medical conditions who traveled from Port Au Prince and all parts of the nation to one of the few undamaged and operating medical centers. In June of 2013, the facility was turned into a medical clinic, fully staffed, and opened daily. This is great news! And we are off to a great start. Today, we continue to raise funds for necessary capital improvements and equipment that will allow Hôpital Saint Gabriel to continue servicing patients for the years to come.
CONTACT US IF YOU'D LIKE TO SUPPORT HÔPITAL ST. GABRIEL DE LASCAHOBAS