Julie Anne, Tatjana, & Nick Rhodes
I am haunted by the eyes of a trapped 11 year old girl… pinned under a collapsed structure in the rubble of the magnitude 7.0 earthquake that hit Haiti this week. After 48 hours of trying to free her, she looked directly into the news camera that had been shoved in her face… her eyes conveying pain, fright, and confusion, that I read as saying “why are you filming me instead of helping me?” I have not been able to turn the television on since. To me, it was a horrifying intrusion of a traumatized and seriously injured child’s plight who had no choice but to lay there and let it happen.
I was deeply saddened to awake to the news on my facebook feed that she didn’t make it. David Knowles from Sphere reported:
Conscious and able to eat and drink, the girl often cried out in pain during her ordeal. At nightfall, rescuers used a saw to cut through an iron beam that was pinning her leg, and she was finally freed.
Her leg, however, was badly injured, and she required immediate medical attention. Witnesses told CNN she was transported to a first aid station that did not have the resources to deal with her wounds. She died before her family could take her to a better equipped facility outside the city.
Maybe I was wrong to judge CNN so harshly for running the story of the girl as she lay trapped. The cynic in me immediately jumped to the conclusion that they had over-stepped the mark, and it was all in the name of ratings.
Life-saving inflatable hospitals
Yet, I have to admit… the image of that girl is seared into my memory. It will not allow me to look away and do nothing. Maybe they were trying to wake us all up. It is time we learn to love all humanity… to be generous and caring beyond our own families, communities, countries, races, and religions. Apathy is not an option here. There are at least 3 million other people whose lives have been touched by this tragedy and need our help now.
Tatjana & Julie Anne Rhodes
My heart goes out to her family. Living in California, I can’t help but think “what if it had been my daughter?” I’m digging as deep in my pockets as I can in her memory, and in the hopes of saving many more children like her. I chose Doctors Without Borders, because they have the means to provide inflatable hospitals and medical care… she lost her fight for life due to the lack of adequate facilities. Learn more about them here http://doctorswithoutborders.org/news/article.cfm?id=4155&cat=field-news&ref=home-center, and 87% of your donation goes directly to where it is needed. There are many great charities out there, so give where you see fit, but PLEASE don’t just say “how terrible” and look away. They are ALL our children.