Diaspora

Kansas City doctor who founded hospital in Haiti warns of growing gang violence – KMBC Kansas City

One doctor who works at the surgicenter was shot, robbed in January
One doctor who works at the surgicenter was shot, robbed in January
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One doctor who works at the surgicenter was shot, robbed in January
KMBC 9 Investigates gang violence and corruption in Haiti. The crisis is now spiraling out of control, and a doctor from Mission Hills is sounding the alarm.
Dr. Ted Higgins runs the Higgins Brothers Surgicenter for Hope in a village in the eastern part of the country. He said he wants people to see what his team is up against.
Two surgeons — one Haitian and one American — are united in a single purpose.
At the Higgins Brothers Surgicenter for Hope, these colleagues and friends are confronting new dangers.
Gang violence nearly cost Dr. Peterson Thosiac his life in January. While traveling to the hospital, thugs shot and robbed him and left him for dead. He was pinned under his motorcycle.
“My first thought was, ‘I’m not going to be able to use my hands, and I’m not going to be able to operate anymore,'” Thosiac said.
Six weeks later, Thosiac was back in the operating room.
“I was surprised with the depth of the danger this has developed into,” said Higgins, the hospital’s founder.
Soon, Higgins was by his side.
“People are getting injured, and stopped, and kidnapped every day,” Higgins said.
With no army and a police force under armed and rife with corruption, gangs now terrorize Haiti. They even held hostage fuel and supply trucks bound for the hospital.
Traveling has become dangerous with gangs patrolling the roads. It’s forcing staff to stay at the hospital for weeks at a time.
“We’ve had thoughts of closing our surgicenter down for periods of time, but they don’t want to do that,” Higgins said.
Of his 70 employees, not one has quit. It’s the only 24/7 surgical trauma center in the region, serving patients even when they can’t pay.
Another doctor at the hospital was kidnapped by a gang on his way to work. He was let go when one of them recognized the physician as the man who once helped save his life.
You can join a tennis and pickleball tournament benefitting the surgicenter in Haiti. Hit for Haiti is Oct. 15 at Homestead Country Club. The money raised will 100% go toward patient care.

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