Haitian Toddler Comes to AMH
for Surgical Care
Ala Frey, M.D.
On Monday, July 19, AMH held a press conference announcing the arrival of Mirlande Felime, a 23-month-old resident of Haiti, who has a congenital malformation of the digestive tract. Mirlande's condition, which occurs in one in 4,500 births, is surgically corrected at birth in the U.S.; however, the care that is crucial to the child's wellbeing is not available in her native country.
Mirlande is here thanks to – first and foremost – the dedicated service of Seth Newman, M.D., a general surgeon who was doing relief work in Haiti during April, where he met Mirlande and her family at a clinic. Knowing the magnitude of her life-threatening condition, and with the knowledge that her life could be saved, Newman consulted with Ala Frey, M.D., director of Pediatric Surgical Services, and made arrangements for Mirlande to come to Abington to obtain care. Frye immediately and graciously agreed to donate her much-needed surgical expertise.
Mirlande Felime with her father
Sabrina Harris, director of Diversity and Interpreter Services, also played a major role in orchestrating Mirlande's arrival in the U.S. Harris coordinated the airfare, visas and other necessities for Mirlande and her father, Josue, most of which were acquired through the kindness and generosity of employees, the hospital's social workers and its Martin Luther King Committee.
In keeping with the hospital's mission of easing suffering and fostering healing, as well as making a real and personal impact on a family that desperately needs it, Mirlande's pending medical care, housing and other necessities will be provided free, thanks to the generosity of Newman and Frey, Abington Memorial Hospital, our employees and the local Haitian community.