Help for Haiti
In a country as poor as Haiti, the earthquake was the final straw for many families who could already barely make ends meet. 7News returned to Haiti to find many children with nowhere to call home. 7's Nicole Linsalata is live in the newsplex with a story you'll see on Just One Station.
WSVN -- Although abandoned children have always filled orphanages, since the quake many more parents have become even more desperate. Especially parents of children with special needs.
This is Laura, Max and Francois Jean. For now, this small pediatric ward at the University of Miami's Project Medishare Hospital in Port-au-Prince is their home. Their only home.
Laura's mother brought her here. The baby suffering from a condition called hydrocephalus, or water on the brain.
Dr. Patrick Charles: "Mom just came and put Laura here and she never came back. When we call her on the phone, she said, 'OK I'll come back,' but then she said, 'I will never come back.'"
And so here she remains with Max whose mother, doctors say, beat him.
Dr. Patrick Charles: "He got a lot of fractures in his head, and we treat him. He ended up in an orphanage."
But not long after, he ended up on this bench, alone outside the clinic.
Dr. Patrick Charles: "No one can explain exactly what happened."
Nurse Kate Corrigan found Francois Jean on Thanksgiving day outside her office. He also suffers from hydrocephalus.
Kate Corrigan: "And he was lying on a blanket, but he was lying on the cement floor there. He was obviously terrified."
And very sick.
Nicole Linsalata: "Hydrocephalus can be caused by an infection from mother to child, and is usually treated by a shunt to drain the fluid from the brain early on. Because Francois is 14 to 16 months, his time may be short."
And he fights this fight without his mother.
According to UNICEF, the January 2010 quake left nearly 400,000 children alone, but many may not have been orphaned. Many may have just been left on a street, in a park or at a hospital like Project Medishare's. The desperation is everywhere..
Off a dusty road in the town of Mirbalais, this father struggles to sell enough sugar cane to support his two children, as kids play and bathe in a nearby river along with livestock.
In Leogane, 18 miles outside the capital, these mothers still live in tents after losing their homes in the quake. Adults play cards on hard-packed mud. There are no toys for the children. It's nearly impossible to stay clean.
Celia Pierre is raising four girls alone.
Celia Pierre: "I have no one else. I have no family."
This, in fact is how Kate Corrigan pictures Francois Jean's mother.
Kate Corrigan: "Chances are this woman lives in a tent."
Max is lucky. He has an adoptive family waiting for him. It is too early to know what becomes of Francois Jean and Laura.
Dr. Patrick Charles: "They like when people hold them, and they need that. But they feel someone is missing, they miss someone."
We've received late word tonight that Laura will go to an orphanage and Francois Jean will have surgery next month.
Tomorrow night, we sit down with former president Jimmy Carter, and we'll show you the Habitat for Humanity community built by South Florida volunteers last year.