By Stephanie Stahl

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Dozens of critically injured people in Haiti were brought here to Philadelphia for life saving medical treatment after the earthquake a year ago.

The organization, called Partners in Health, brought 23 critically injured Haitians here to Philadelphia for treatment at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.

Betina is a playful 5 year old now, learning English. A year ago, she was hours from death. She had initially escaped the earthquake with a minor cut, but it got infected and she developed tetanus.

“It’s called lockjaw, the body stiffens and it moves up to the neck and patients can’t breathe or swallow,” said Naomi Rosenberg.

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She’s with Partners in Health, which made arrangements for Betina and 22 other Haitian patients to come to Philadelphia for life saving treatments.

“I think we’re fortunate we got to see so many people survive the earthquake and recover…they really did rise from the dead”, Rosenberg said.

Many are now living in a house in Germantown. And they’re grateful on this first anniversary of the earthquake. One patient named Sherline says she’s doing well. The 22 year old lost a leg after being crushed in the rubble. Through an interpreter she said: “After one year I feel I am so fortunate to be here.”

Sherline has become best friends with Aeleine, who also lost a leg in the earthquake. She has 3 children who are still in Haiti. Here in Philadelphia Sherline has received prosthetic legs that she’s now able to joke about.

Rosenberg says, “It’s worth doing whatever it takes, because it is somebody’s sister, daughter, wife, husband. When people hurt and are suffering, you want to do what you can to help.”

Some of the Haitian patients continue to get some follow-up health care, but they’ll eventually have to go back to Haiti.


Reported By Stephanie Stahl, CBS 3

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