In June of 2011 I was notified by a physician friend of mine, Dr. Jen, that she had a young patient named Luckner in Port-au-Prince with a serious heart problem. She wanted to know if I would examine him and evaluate him as a candidate for heart surgery through Haitian Hearts.
I agreed to do this but I was located in central Haiti about three hours north of Port-au-Prince. I was working at a Cholera Treatment Center at Albert Schweitzer Hospital. I asked Dr. Jen if Luckner could come up to Schweitzer and I would examine him. She said he would make the trip.
At the Cholera Treatment Center we had a tiny admit room. Hundreds of sick patients were coming every day with cholera. We put IV's in the sickest cholera patients in this room and sometimes we would have six or seven very ill patients in shock slumped in their chairs or lying unconscious on cots. Sometimes the patients were even slumped against each other in these close quarters.
One day a young man showed up. Even though I had never seen him I thought he had to be Luckner. He looked too strong and healthy to be a sick with cholera.
The young man was Luckner and he looked scared. He was scared to be around so many deathly ill appearing cholera patients. I could tell he wanted to leave the Cholera Treatment Center as soon as possible.
I examined him quickly and could hear the loud murmur coming from his leaky aortic valve.