Quad Cities, IL/IA

Working with the community... for a healthier community.

I Do My Part


By Brian Prudent, DMD, MyoTech Dental & Integrative Health Center

Imagine you have a horrendous toothache; you’ve been struggling with the pain all night and you can’t eat, drink, or sleep. You call your dentist’s office in the morning and they tell you you’ll have to wait for six months to a year for an appointment. While this may seem unbelievable to you or me, it is one of many difficult realities that face the people of Gran Bois.

It had been two years since our last trip to Haiti. Sue, a friend and marketing director at the office, and I were anxious to get back and help the mountain people of Gran Bois. Dr. Jarrin and I first traveled to Haiti with Sue in 2011. ServeHAITI built a regional clinic that serves approximately 65,000 rural Haitians. There is such a need for emergency care in this area because the treacherous 50-mile trip down the mountain to Port au Prince takes about four hours on a dry, sunny day. This clinic has made such a huge impact on my life and the lives of these people. We have seen people tragically die and babies miraculously born. There are many mixed emotions while you are at the Centre de Santé St. Vincent De Paul clinic. One thing that strikes me the most about these people is their faith, their determination, and their perseverance. They make me feel stronger and happier just being around them.

This year, Sue and I had the privilege to work with a Haitian dentist, Dr. Brice Butler. Most of our time was spent doing oral surgery as many had severe chronic infections. Some could barely open their mouths. While our hope is that our next trip allows us to do some restorative care, these three days found us seeing 52 patients and extracting 187 teeth. The needs of these people can sometimes overwhelm you. You almost start to feel like you really aren’t making a dent in the problems these people face.

I met a man named LaMothe (La MOTE). He was our driver and translator during our last visit. He is getting his degree in environmental law and is very passionate about restoring Haiti to a self-sufficient country by first healing the environment. He is also an artist and mixes his art with ancient folklore to tell stories on how to preserve the environment. The art piece he had just completed was about a South American tale of the tiny humming bird who attempted to put out a raging forest fire while the other animals cowered in fear or commented that the hummingbird was a fool. The hummingbird’s reply is “I do my part.” Essentially, it portrayed that if everyone would do their part, then many things can be accomplished.

So, this last trip has taught me that doing your part does help someone, and that is better than helping no one. We can do great things together if we all do our part.

To find out more how you can help, visit www.ServeHAITI.org