One Year After Haiti's Quake: Cholera Babies, School Without Walls


The only full service maternity hospital in Haiti is run by the emergency relief group Doctors Without Borders. Out back, in a clump of tents the doctors have cordoned off a ward specifically for pregnant women with cholera.

"We are fighting an uphill battle every day, but we have a lot of still borns and babies born that don't survive," said the group's spokeswoman Tara Newell. "But for every one of those we have one or two case like we have today in our pediatrics ward where there are two cholera babies who have cholera and we didn't think were going to make it and are now on their way to good health."

One of them, wrapped in a pink blanket, is a shriveled infant boy. Born last Thursday he is unnamed because his mother died of cholera during childbirth.

"He's lucky to be alive," said Newell, noting that 90 percent of infants born with cholera die. "Certainly we didn't think he would survive and now he will, but he has an uphill battle to fight to get there."

Cholera Babies One Year After Haiti's Quake

The doctors said his family didn't have the means to care for him. So he joined the ranks of Haiti's tens of thousands of orphans.

And even those fortunate to have living parents remain trapped. One-year-old Dave Saint Cyr celebrates his birthday today. He was born just after 5 p.m., on the street, as the earth rattled and the dust of crushed buildings billowed around him. His mother Ivy, whom we met a couple of days after the quake huddled in a neighbor's front stoop, feared he wouldn't survive.

ABC News went back to find Dave and Ivy Saint Cyr and after 10 days of searching, found her.

We learned that after living on the neighbor's stoop for seven months, Ivy moved back to the fetid, and cracked single room basement apartment with her four children where she lived before the quake struck. We found that little Dave has survived, though he remains sickly.

Outside, taking us back to the stoop where we found her a year ago, Ivy Saint Cyr smiled, thanking God for the miracle of little Dave's survival.

"The baby was so sick because the baby spent too much time on the ground... but now the baby is okay," she said. He hung limply in her arms as she spoke, eyes puffy from crying.

Like so many Haitians after the quake, she has no work and these days little hope. Her days are spent scrounging for something to eat.

"There are days when my family doesn't eat," she said.

I asked Principal Charles whether she had any hope. "I am an optimist, always," she replied. "How else could I keep coming here every day." She felt a duty to return to the school and rebuild it, and that sense of mission keeps her going, she said.

She and her superintendent have by now given up pleading with the government or international organizations for aid. The rest of the school would be built, slowly, maybe never, and perhaps not strong enough to withstand another earthquake, but it'll have to do, they said.

When asked where the government was to help her, she said "The government is here and yet it doesn't exist."

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