My son, at 16 went to Haiti with his doctor to help build a medical center and an orphanage in October 2010. He left the day the cholera outbreak was announced (and he returned with Hurricane Tomás on his plane’s tail.) Everyone told me I was nuts. (As it turned out, I made this decision in the middle of an extremely bad manic episode that would come to bite me hard in the ***, but not over this thank God). My son saw firsthand the devastation the Earth’s fury caused. He brought back pictures, which coupled with his words chilled me when I realized the magnitude of the danger I had put him in. He saw bodies. He heard gunshots and Voodoo in the night. He was detained by police for hours until his group could scrape up the bribes needed to proceed. He also played with orphans. He helped build their new home. He was given the responsibility to guard medication from looters. Again, he was 16. On the last day before he was to leave for Haiti, he balked. He was scared of the cholera and the aftershocks. I wouldn’t yield. His high school had held fundraisers and he walked the halls like a superhero. I explained he agreed to go, period. Not to go only if it was easy. After he left I did not hear from him for three agonizing days because of the sketchy phone service. Then he sent me a picture of a ratty bed with the caption: “There’s no room service.” This is the only earthquake story I have. It made my son a hero.

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Thank you for the BA-from me and my son

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You just had one?

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