Haiti earthquake survivor Darline Bertil gets gift of new limbs - and a future

New York Daily News—October 26, 2010

Darline Bertil's megawatt smile flashed broad and beautiful on Monday - a bright beacon of hope in the midst of Haiti's despair.

A small but determined group of supporters - friends, family, strangers, state Sen. Daniel Squadron and a team of miracle workers at Hospital for Special Surgery - has been patiently guiding the 25-year-old double amputee toward triumph.

Squadron landed help from Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan, which maintains a fund for amputees who don't have insurance.

Glenn Garrison, the hospital's director of prosthetics and orthotics, chatted with Bertil as he fitted her for two artificial arms yesterday. Within minutes, the young woman was moving the controls, similar to backpack straps, that allow her to lift and hold things by flexing her back muscles.

"She'll learn this very quickly," said Garrison, coaxing Bertil into grabbing his nose and lifting a pair of scissors. He estimated it will take three to six months before the young woman can feed, clothe and bathe herself.

For now, Bertil is grateful. "It's a miracle," she told me. One that underscores the plight of the many thousands still suffering in Haiti, waiting for more blessings to arrive.

That's where you come in. To make a donation to the Joe & Ellen Wright Fund for Prosthetics and Orthotics at the Hospital for Special Surgery, call (212) 606-1196.

Read the full story at nydailynews.com.

 

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