Haiti quake exposes teen’s weak heart just in time

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David Senatus, 15, was one of the many Haitians injured in the January earthquake that claimed an estimated 300,000 lives. But in a miraculous turn of events, the earthquake may have, in fact, saved David from certain death.

While caring for minor cuts, doctors discovered a more critical and immediate threat — David suffered from a heart murmur and, if left untreated, the condition would surely claim his life.

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David required urgent care that the Haitian medical system couldn’t provide so a non-profit organization known as CARE (Cooperative for Assistance and Relief Everywhere) offered to fly David and his father to the United States.

Upon arrival, David was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit at Arkansas Children’s Hospital and doctors performed surgery to repair his heart.

He spent the next several weeks living with a host family in the U.S., and has since returned to Haiti — much healthier than when he left.