Reginette Cinelien survived the earthquake in Haiti only to find she had lost her home, her father and a sister. Pulled from under a rock wall, Reginette’s crushed left leg was amputated below the knee to save her from a ravenous infection.
This Boston Globe video follows a group from a small New England prosthetics company as they arrive in Haiti with the hope of helping some of the thousands of quake amputees return to normal life. Their optimism is soon tempered by the reality that even people who could be helped physically have no life to go back to.
Reginette, at first shy and apprehensive about the artificial leg, takes to it eventually, but her mother was more sanguine. Her family has nothing, and she sits in a tent camp “with my arms crossed,” waiting for something, anything, to change. To add insult to injury, artificial limbs are culturally unacceptable in Haiti, and Reginette will only venture out in public with pants covering the prosthetic. Although celebrating a small success with Reginette and the American team, the video avoids sugarcoating the situation. No one can say what will happen in a few years when she outgrows the leg or it wears out.
CHANNEL: Boston Globe
Video by Dina Rudick and Bill Greene
Produced by Dina Rudick