By Jennifer Browning
HINCHE, Haiti— “In God’s hands…..”
This is how 22-year-old Jean Massenat views his life.
Walking alongside the road in Carrefour Marin outside of Port-Au-Prince, Jean turned to the screams behind him where seven others were running, warning him to get out of the way. Barreling toward him was a tap-tap carrying a load of passengers. The vehicle had lost control of the brakes and now headed directly for him. Just before leaping into a nearby ditch, the tap-tap hit Jean’s hip. Jean survived, but seven others were killed during the incident.
Bruised and in pain, Jean seemed he would begin to heal from the tragic ordeal, then three months later, he began to have trouble urinating. The young man was eventually diagnosed with a displaced urethra.
A urology surgeon in Port-au-Prince treated him by giving him a suprapubic catheter, essentially a bag that collected his urine. Told that there wasn’t a surgery available to correct his condition, Jean tucked the bag into the side of this pants and carried it with him everywhere. Because doctors in Haiti were not able to do the surgery a doctor in Hinche told Jean about the Emory surgical team arriving in July. There might be a chance to repair the damage.
While the operation to correct the displaced urethra exists, it is a rare surgery even in the United States. The procedure itself is not a simple one as it requires general anesthesia and up to five hours in surgery.
Jean arrived five days prior to the Emory surgical team arriving, waiting patiently for an opportunity for a surgery that would allow him to urinate normally meaning he would no longer need to carry around his suprapubic catheter.
While Jean’s showing positive signs of recovery, he is still required to use the suprapubic catheter for another four weeks. Jean will return to Port-au-Prince Friday and follow up with a doctor there in a month to see if the surgery corrected his condition.