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Haitian Earthquake Survivor Marks Two-Year Anniversary

NY1 —January 13, 2012

In this segment on NY1, Darline Bertil who lost both her hands in the 2009 Haitian earthquake, spoke about her recovery with Inside City Hall's Errol Louis and the New York State Senator who helped her, Daniel Squadron.

EL: Senator Squadron, at what point did you come into this story?

DS: I was contacted at my office by a doctor on the navy hospital ship that Darline was on. He told us that he met the most extraordinary young woman, and he wanted to know if there was anything we could do to help her. We then got in touch with Hospital for Special Surgery in New York. The hospital generously donated the needed medical services and prosthesis. 

EL: Darline, I saw you at the hospital when you were trying out the new prosthesis, the hand and the arm. You made an amazing amount of progress in just that morning. What has it been like since then?

DA: When I first started the rehabilitation I was unsure about how to use the prosthesis. The man who helped me said, "You're going to be fine, just try the prosthesis." They gave me a can of soda, I took the can, I opened it and it was so amazing. 

EL: To dress yourself, to eat and to do everything, you had to have someone helping you. Now you are a lot more independent.

DA: My mom was helping me a lot but now I feel independent and functional again.

EL: Senator, she makes a lot of connections and has a lot of luck, but there is something about her that gets people inspired to help.

DS: Darline is the living embodiment of "making your own luck." Everyone she meets is inspired to help her. The staff at HSS helped her connect so she can go to college. She is now enrolled in Queensborough Community College in New York.

This segment originally appeared at ny1.com.


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