Marmont, HAITI–A thin white film seems to coat two-year-old Kimberlee Pierre’s eyes. She doesn’t cry, she doesn’t smile, she just stares into the space of the nothingness she experiences. Kimberlee was born this way and according to her mother she cannot walk or talk as of yet. These developmental delays aren’t uncommon when sight is impaired from birth.
Kimberlee’s mother said she has traveled all over Haiti’s central plateau to see several doctors about her daughters condition, but the consensus was the same. There was nothing they could do.
Second year resident Mike Feilmeier said Kimberlee’s condition was probably bilateral corneal opacification, but before a doctor attempts to correct the condition her vision potential needs to be assessed.
“The real question is what is her visual potential and it is difficult to assess without doing surgery,” Feilmeier said.
But the surgery Kimberlee needs will be difficult to do in Haiti. Kimberlee more than likely would require a corneal transplant.
“It would be not only difficult to get that type of surgery in Haiti but also difficult to monitor her and follow up due to the remoteness of where she lives,” Feilmeier said.
His concern is that if the little girl did receive corneal transpant surgery that the transplants might fail.
“In the end we could be putting her through a lot for potential little or no gain,” he said.”The best thing for the mother to do is to take her daughter to get the highest level of care she can in Haiti which will be Port-au-Prince.”