Haitian-born surgeon Henri Ford made medical history in his home country when he performed a rare surgery there for the first time.
Ford led a group of volunteer doctors as they separated conjoined twins Marian and Michelle Bernard during a seven-hour surgery at the University Hospital of Mirebalais on May 22.
“It was an extremely exhilarating day; not only did our preparations pay off and the surgery succeed in spectacular fashion, but this was also a time to put politics aside and celebrate our national pride,” Ford said.
The 6-month-old twins, born last November and connected at the abdomen, are shown in the video below (at the 2:16 mark), recuperating two weeks after the surgery. You’d never guess they were once conjoined twins, which occurs in about 1 in 200,000 births. The survival rate is fairly low and the surgical separation is very risky.
While the separation is a joyous moment for the twins’ parents, it also marks a monumental moment for Ford and his home country.
Born in Port-au-Prince, Ford’s family left the country for the United States in 1972. He went on to become an Ivy League-trained pediatric surgeon. He’s now chief of surgery at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.
Ford traveled back to his home country after an earthquake devastated the country in 2010, leaving about 230,000–316,000 people dead.
“There’s something special about coming to Haiti to operate on Haitian children with Haitian physicians, [and] Haitian anesthesiologists, because I feel that I am contributing to the future of this country,” the renowned doctor told CBS.
Please SHARE if you are inspired by this doctor’s work!