Dispatches from Haiti: Injured Ballerina is Determined to Dance Again
This is the second entry in a continuing series on the devastation and reconstruction of Haiti. As the story fades from the front pages of newspapers and trending topics on Twitter, we will endeavor to provide a continuing look at what is happening on the ground. Communications Officer Tyler Marshall is with International Medical Corps' Emergency Response teams in Haiti and reporting for GOOD on his experiences and the people he meets along the way.Two weeks after Haiti's great tragedy, stories of hope and inspiration speak to the resilience of the national character.Consider Fabienne Jean, a prima ballerina for a national theater known for performances anchored in the country's rich folklore. Ms. Jean had her right leg amputated below the knee a few days after it was crushed under falling concrete during the January 12 earthquake.William Gregory, a Los Angeles-based volunteer physician working with a team of International Medical Corps medical professionals at the university hospital in downtown Port-au-Prince, says the initial healing is going well. On Thursday, volunteers were at Jean's bedside giving her the first lessons in using crutches and teaching her how to distribute her balance so she can eventually walk.But for Jean, whose face is more often that not lit up by a radiant smile despite her injury, walking is just a half-way house to her real goal: she is determined to dance again. "I will do this," she said with a voice that carried not an ounce of doubt. Dr. Gregory thinks that, once comfortable with a prosthetic, she can make it. "Absolutely," he said. "Once she regains her sense of balance and learns how to redistribute her weight, she'll do fine. She's young and she's got a great attitude."