Local doctor helps Haitian woman walk again

Local doctor helps Haitian woman walk again
Published: Feb. 20, 2014 at 10:54 PM EST|Updated: Feb. 20, 2014 at 11:00 PM EST
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CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - As a child growing up in Haiti, Claire Pierre Paul dealt with hip problems which got worse after the massive earthquake that shook the country to its core in 2010.

Since then, her hip has caused her chronic problems and at times excruciating pain.

"I am unable to walk straight or run and it's difficult to stand up on my own," Clarie said.

Local orthopedic surgeon doctor Rick Reed says twice a year he takes medical missions trips using his skills to train and teach local medical staff.

During one of his trips, Dr. Reed met Clarie and diagnosed her with hip dysplasia. Dr. Reed recommended a total hip replacement.

The procedure is something that's normally performed on a 70 or 80 year old patient.

"We were not able to do anything with her medical case with the resources we have in the clinic," Dr. Reed said.

Dr. Reed enlisted help for Clarie to obtain a visa and get to the U.S. It took a year of help and paperwork from Roper Medical staff and lawmakers like U.S. Senator Tim Scott and Vice President Joe Biden to bring Clarie to Charleston.

On Jan. 4 Claire finally got the surgery she needed.

"Roper offered these services and they provided everything from nursing, hospital bed, medication, surgery and implants," Dr. Reed said.

The dedication of the Roper staff did not stop with Clarie's surgery, and she is now undergoing physical therapy three times a week for two hours.

While recovering, Clarie is also staying at Dr. Reed's family home, and in between physical therapy and reading her bible, Claire says she is just grateful.

"When I met Dr. Reed, he helped me with all of his heart and that is why I love America," Clarie said.

"Being able to do something for an individual in a community does something for the whole community," Dr. Reed said.

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