Rood Kerry was diagnosed with a heart defect at 2 months of age when his mother, Kerline, took him to the hospital with “rapid breathing.” She said she knew something was wrong because along with breathing quickly, he did not eat very well and seemed to have stunted growth.
Over a period of a year and half, Kerline took her son to 14 different hospitals and clinics, searching for an answer. Rood had X-rays, EKGs, echocardiograms, blood work, and received many different medications.
She eventually received a diagnosis for her son; however, no one could offer a solution to the problem. She was told, “He has a hole in his heart, but we cannot fix it. He will not live long without surgery.” She was referred from hospital to hospital in towns all over Haiti, and even one in the Dominican Republic, but no one could perform the surgery he needed to give him a normal, healthy life.
Being the determined woman she was and searching for any hope for her son, Kerline eventually found the help she was looking for. With the help from Haiti Cardiac Alliance, Rood was brought to an ICHF surgical mission trip in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
When asked how she felt when she heard he would finally receive the life-saving surgery her son needed, Kerline said, “Wow! I felt sad, but I let them do what they needed to do. I was also relieved that I received the answer I had been looking for. And I thank God for that.” The sadness, she explained, was because “surgery is not easy, and I heard only 30 percent of people survive surgery.”
Rood had surgery to repair a ventricular septal defect, or VSD. He did exceptionally well and was discharged from the ICU the following day and went home two days later. His mother was by his side the entire time. After years of constantly traveling across the island searching for an answer, they returned to their extended family in Cap-Haïtien, Haiti.
Kerline’s wish for Rood is that he will start developing and eating better. To the team that made this possible, she wanted to say,
“Thank you, because without you, it would not be possible. I hope you continue to do this work because it is a good work, and you are a blessing from God.”