One of the best private hospitals in Haiti needs beds. Nestled 70 miles north of Port-au-Prince in the lush village of Milot, Hospital Sacre Coeur now finds itself home to more than 500 earthquake casualties. Problem is, only a fraction of those has a place to sleep.
Six months after the earthquake killed 230,000 Haitians, turned 1 million homeless and left 2,000-6,000 disabled, many of Hospital Sacre Coeur’s patients sleep on cots and mats on the floor.
One New York 20-something is trying to change that. And she’s succeeding. Judith Kaine, a Columbia grad student, started 100 Beds for Haiti after hearing about the country’s devastating shortage of hospital equipment.
She’s since rounded up her friends and milked her connections to raise the cash to send 70 used hospital beds on a journey around the world to a place where they’re needed more than anywhere else.
The first shipment of 35, donated by two German hospitals, arrived at Hospital Sacre Coeur on July 7. The second shipment of 35, provided by another German hospital, is due on the doorsteps of the Haitian hospital at the end of July.
Raymond Delnatus, CFO of Hospital Sacre-Coeur, sent Judith a letter of thanks after receiving the first batch of beds:
“Long time ago I kept looking for the donor of those beds because this donation was one of the most important shipments that we have received during the earthquake … I do not know without those beds how the 598 victims and patients that we have received could have been treated.”
100 Beds for Haiti is now seeking donations so it can find and ship 30 more beds to a hospital that will happily accept the equipment that the developed world’s hospitals throw away. The cause is more than just good. It’s green.
Story by Sam Brand, originally published on July 15, 2010 on Tonic