Monday, March 12, 2007

Cleveland Clinic Rescues OSF

Cleveland Clinic Rescues Peoria’s OSF
Author: Dr. John A. Carroll

Several weeks ago I posted an open letter to The Catholic Diocese of Peoria and OSF regarding accepting Maxime Petion at OSF for heart surgery.

Maxime is a young Haitian man who had been operated at OSF in 2002. He is currently very ill. Unfortunately, OSF has been denying Haitian Hearts patients the chance to return to OSF for life saving repeat heart surgery.

Haitian Hearts is happy to report that Maxime received encouraging news several days ago. The Cleveland Clinic Foundation, which is ranked the number one heart center in the United States, accepted Maxime. All their work will be done pro bono. Cleveland will give Maxime the chance he was being denied in Peoria.

Our job now is to obtain a non-immigrant travel visa from the American Consulate here in Haiti. Visa applications for Haitians are tedious, time consuming, dangerous, and not always successful–even when the applicant has obvious medical problems.

The visa, if granted, will allow Maxime to travel to the States for his surgery. We hope that OSF or an OSF representative does not contact the Consulate as they have in the past. Maxime needs to travel as soon as possible.

In addition to Maxime, Haitian Hearts has three other children that were operated at OSF several years ago and need to return for surgery. Their host families want them back in central Illinois as do their good doctors and nurses.

Our wish is that Bishop Jenky and the Sisters of OSF garner the moral fortitude to overrule the powerful secular and business leaders at OSF. The embargo of Haitian Hearts children trapped and dying in Haiti needs to be lifted. They should be allowed to return to Peoria.

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